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Heather Burns is a digital law specialist in Glasgow, Scotland. Her focus is researching, writing, and speaking about internet laws and policies which impact the professions of web design and development. She has been a professional web designer since 2007 and earned a postgraduate certification in internet law in 2015.
In these politically uncertain times, developers can help to defend their users’ personal privacy by adopting the Privacy by Design (PbD) framework. These common-sense steps will become a requirement under the EU's imminent data protection overhaul, but the benefits of the framework go far beyond legal compliance.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. The global political upheaval of the past 12 months has done more to get developers thinking about privacy, surveillance and defensive user protection than ever before. The risks and threats to ourselves, and to our users, are no longer theoretical; they are real, they are everyday, and they are frightening.
Location-based services are growing in popularity every day, and beacon-based services are tipped to be the advertising goldmine of 2016. You may already be using location data and beacons to enhance your users’ experience with your websites, apps and wearables. However, the use of location data is not without limits.
Developers must become aware of international privacy laws, as well as industry codes of self-regulation, that govern its usage. Following laws and codes, while also adhering to best practice principles through frameworks such as privacy by design (PbD), will ensure public trust in your app as well as in your services as a developer.