Using mobile apps: the ABCs of privacy protection

Read the document below or download it here Fact sheet - Using mobile apps: the ABCs of privacy protection, updated August 2019

The ABCs of privacy protection provides a few simple steps to follow to help you protect your privacy when you download and use mobile apps on smartphones and tablets.

Mobile apps are becoming a huge part of our everyday lives. From checking the weather and getting real-time news and transport updates, to shopping and playing games, there seems to be an app for almost everything!

Keeping your personal details private should always be a top priority when using apps on your smartphones and tablets. The good news is there are things you can do to help protect your privacy. Just remember the ABCs next time you download an app to ensure your information is protected.

Know your ABCs

  1. ALWAYS check what information the app is collecting, and what it will do with it. If it seems excessive, reconsider whether you really need the app.
  2. BE AWARE of apps that share information online. For example, some apps might post your exact location, or publish photos you've taken online without you knowing about it.
  3. CHECK the reviews before you download an app. No reviews or only positive reviews all sounding the same may mean you should take extra care with any information you are asked to provide.
  4. NSW privacy law requires public sector agencies, including councils and universities, health service providers and certain businesses to be upfront about what they are doing with any personal information they collect in their privacy statement. This includes any personal information collected through a mobile app.

We always encourage you to read the privacy policy or statement whenever you are asked to provide personal information, and make sure you are able to refuse particular sharing services if you wish to. These services may include the sharing of posts between social media sites.

You should also be able to easily delete or deactivate an app at any time. We suggest you consider regularly deleting any apps you don’t use.

If you’re thinking of developing an app, or you are interested in finding out more about the obligations of organisations in relation to the protection of users’ personal information, please view the IPC’s additional fact sheet on “Developing Mobile Apps: know the risks” agency checklist, available to download at

For more information

Contact the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC):

Freecall: 1800 472 679

NOTE: The information in this fact sheet is to be used as a guide only. Legal advice should be sought in relation to individual circumstances.

How easy did you find it to understand this resource?
Have you used the information in this resource to assist you?