Episode from the podcastPrivacy Paths

Clubhouse: Challenges of apps and data privacy law

Released Friday, 26th February 2021
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Do app developers gather information in a legally sound way? Apps often involve trading one’s personal data for a usually free useful or entertaining service. Data privacy laws apply to apps so how can developers navigate this legal terrain?

We explore Clubhouse, the audio meeting app which is on a rising trend, and the privacy laws which apply to it, as they do to all apps.

The key legal questions we ask in this episode: do users understand the process? and do they know how much data the app developers are using or “harvesting”? These issues are heightened because of mobile devices’ small screen sizes; the complexity of the opt-in or opt-out process; and the use of persuasive techniques by deploying colour and design to persuade users to consent or ‘opt-in’ to use of their personal data. We all know that app developers want access to one’s contacts and location – but is this lawful? Companies want to monetise valuable data by analysing it and sharing it with other parties. This happens largely because the individuals desire the essential and attractive (at least in the mind of the prospective user) service provided by the apps. 

Are the regulators keeping up? These app companies seem to live in a different world from more conventional companies, and we ask how hard the law will have to work to catch up?

  • Richard Nicholas, Partner, Browne Jacobson LLP
  • Helena Wootton, Correspondent and Data Lawyer, Privacy Laws & Business
  • Stewart Dresner, Chief Executive, Privacy Laws & Business
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