Significance of Consent Forms in app: Know when and how to use them

Dec 7, 2021 | Mobile App Builder, WordPress App Builder

Mobile apps are the new tool for connection, communication and expansion for all kinds of businesses, brands, sellers, organizations and even individuals.

 

It connects them with their buyers, audiences, consumers, and other relevant people.

 

However, not every app is meant for all kinds of audiences and the irrelevant traffic may cause hindrance and issues that are uncalled-for.

 

Let us understand this with certain examples.

 

Most countries have a defined legal drinking age, that sellers and buyers both need to adhere to.

 

So, how do online liquor stores abide by the rules and regulations?

 

A game may contain some material or coarse language that might not be suitable for certain age groups.

 

How can such app providers ensure that they are targeting the right kind of audience?

 

An mHealth app or consultation app may need access to user activities, medical records, and other data.

 

How can it be ensured that users know about this data collection and give permission for that?

 

The answer to all these questions is “Consent Form”.

 

Adding a consent form pop-up or prompt upon the app launch can help app providers declare the usage criteria and tell users what’s in it for them.

 

Let us explore consent forms in detail and learn more!

What is a consent form?

 

Google Play Store and Apple App Store have guidelines where publishers need to specify the suitable age groups for an app and declare if the app contains material that is unsuitable for certain age groups or demographics.

 

YouTube and other video streaming platforms require users to confirm their age before viewing content that is only meant for adults.

 

All these precautions are necessary to save brands from unnecessary and severe liabilities and make users acknowledge certain criteria and eligibility parameters.

 

In fact, sometimes it can also be done to ensure that users know what’s coming and acknowledge it beforehand.

 

It eliminates irrelevant traffic and often puts the onus on the app users, instead of the app provider.

 

Consent form is an amazing solution for the same.

 

Businesses that want users to accept or adhere to certain conditions before they start using the app, can add a consent form in their app and be good to roll.

 

Unlike controlled access, consent forms will not prohibit or restrict users from accessing the app, but definitely lay down the eligibility conditions and make them acknowledge it before using the app.

 

Thus, it helps you meet compliance requirements without being too pushy or interfering with your users’ experience, thereby also eliminating any risks of abandonments.

When to use a consent form?

 

Not every app needs a consent form.

 

For instance, if your app needs access to other apps, then you seek user permission for the same and declare it with a prompt. (Refer to the blog below for more details.)

 

However, for special use cases and for apps that are created using a specific kind of audience in mind, consent forms can come into play.

 

As discussed in the examples listed at the start of this article, consent forms can be used by brands selling liquor or other similar commodities. Else, it can be used in apps that require users to understand certain usage conditions and acknowledge them.

 

However, the consent form should only be displayed at the start of the first session, when a new user launches the app for the first time.

 

If suitable, it can also be used to ensure compliance with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), PDPA (Personal Data Protection Act) or any other native or global privacy regulations.

 

Basically, you can implement consent forms when you want users to undertake the responsibility and make them confirm their eligibility and consent to use the app as per the pre-defined conditions.

Suggested Read: Best practices for accessing and handling user permissions: Part I for iOS apps

Best practices of using a consent form in your mobile app

 

Well, let’s admit there aren’t any!

 

How you use the consent form, totally depends on your goals, preferences, and suitability. This obviously, differs for different brands and businesses.

 

However, there are certain points that you must keep in mind when adding a consent form to your mobile app.

 

Let’s go through them quickly:

#1: Assess your goals and other specifics

 

Assess your app’s purpose and understand why you need the consent form.

 

Having a clear understanding of various legal, commercial, and other related factors will help you create the most accurate form for your app.

 

So, delve deep and list out all the specific conditions and situations that need to be addressed.

#2: Implement only when needed  

 

We are reiterating this because it is important. Add a consent form only when you really need to.

 

An app with unnecessary declarations, forms and other such additions will only mess with the users’ experiences and cause friction.

 

Create and add the form to the app when needed and show it only once upon the first launch of a new user.

 

You do not need users to acknowledge the same criteria every time they launch the app.

 

Also, do not rely on consent forms alone as these are not a legally binding document. Take additional precautions if necessary.

 

You can pair it with user permissions, acceptance of privacy and usage policies, and other such nuances, depending upon your needs and business goals.

#3: Write a crisp and compelling copy 

 

The consent form should not appear like a threat or alarm the users.

 

Design the form smartly and make it blend with the rest of the app content. Do not make it sound or look like a liability.

 

In fact, it should appear like just another on-boarding step, just like login and sign up.

 

Write a short and compelling copy that lists the eligibility criteria and tells users what they are signing up for, in clear and concise terms.

 

Do not make it too boring as it can scare away the users, neither be too amusing. Pick straightforward and simple words that convey your message as it is, and you will be good to go.

Suggested Read: Best practices for accessing and handling user permissions: Part II for Android apps

Here’s the best way to create apps with consent forms

 

Intrigued?

 

Then go ahead with it and create an app with a consent form that defines your app’s purpose and helps you attract the right kind of audience.

 

As discussed above, this little addition to your app can help you a great deal if your business, products, or services are meant for a specific kind of audience.

 

If you need an app with a consent form, then the best way to build that is to sign up for AppMySite’s code free app maker.

 

You can create an app from website with our WordPress mobile app builder and define how users access your mobile app and use it.

 

The app builder lets you design your own Android and iOS apps and implement features like guest browsing, consent form, and more.

 

So, go ahead and explore the app maker. It’s free! You can also checkout our other blogs and gain wonderful insights related to app development, WordPress, digital marketing, and more.