Privacy and Security: Things to Consider When Launching an App

A 2021 study of over 2,600 security professionals discovered that 45% of US companies have suffered a data breach at some point in the past. 

So it’s no wonder that organizations of all types and sizes would be concerned. No one wants to be responsible for the next data breach that causes detrimental losses to their patrons or customers. 

When you’re ready to launch an app for your museum, gallery, or park, you might be wondering…Will we put ourselves and our app users at risk? If so, is the risk worth it?

The good news is that if you’re planning on launching a tour guide app with video and audio content, you have nothing to worry about. Our app building products, STQRY Guide and STQRY Apps, for instance, don’t store sensitive user data.

Below, we’re examining the biggest concerns, as well as how our platform handles them. 

User data collection

One of the top concerns of any organization considering launching a mobile app is the sort of user data that is collected, and whether or not this is stored securely.

Even if you don’t collect users’ phone numbers, addresses, and other sensitive data, there are still risks. Usernames and passwords might seem innocent enough, but many people re-use at least some of their usernames and passwords across multiple sites. According to LastPass’s 2020 survey, 44% of respondents re-use passwords even though they know it’s risky. Why is this risky? If people use the same combination on a media app as they do on their bank account, then a data breach could result in money being easily stolen and irretrievable. This is why billions of username and password combinations are sold on the black market

If you want to avoid the risks of password combinations being hacked and sold, then make sure that your app doesn’t require users to register. Fortunately, when you build an app with STQRY, users do not need to register or set a password. They simply need to download your app (or open it with their mobile device’s web browser such as Safari or Chrome.)

Side note: If you would like to collect data from your visitors without any privacy concerns, the STQRY Builder allows creators to embed surveys, so that app users can decide what information they are comfortable sharing, if any. You can also integrate your app with Google analytics to capture insightful engagement data, even if you don’t collect data on individual users. 

Payment data

Museums, galleries, and tour companies have two key concerns when it comes to payment data.

  • Optional payments processed inside of free apps - The vast majority of organizations that build apps with STQRY choose to offer these apps for free. For example, a museum might offer an app with audio tracks, images, and text descriptions for all of its main assets. However, some of our customers embed other payment gateways into their app. They might have a Memberships page, where they sell memberships, or a Reservations page, where users can book dinner reservations with restaurants located within a cultural district. The payment information is not collected or stored by STQRY whatsoever, so any security risks lie with whatever payment processor you use. As such, breaches would be that company’s fault and not your own. 
  • Paid apps - Are you planning on charging a small fee for your app? Maybe you want another revenue source alongside your in-person tours. The payments will be processed by the Apple app store or by Google Play, and will not be stored or processed by STQRY. By extension, this means your company is also not responsible for the storing of any financial data. 

User location privacy

Another common concern? Location data.

The most successful tour guide apps utilize users’ location in order to make the experience as realistic and immersive as possible. A location-based tour app can provide content notifications based on where a user is located, or simply put audio content on autoplay for a seamless experience.

But with reward, comes risk right? Not necessarily. With STQRY, geo-location tours using geo-triggers and bluetooth beacons do not store user’s location data. That’s because the location data is processed on the physical device (in combination with the app’s content). That location data is never transmitted to a remote server. 

The good news is that you can offer location-triggered content without having to worry about sacrificing your users’ privacy and security. 

Content rights

Content rights are another concern amongst organizations that are researching mobile apps. You might wonder whether the content that you upload to your app is owned by the app store or STQRY. This content is completely owned by your organization. The rights to your videos, images, text, and audio will all remain with your company. This is true whether you launch a branded app under your own name in app stores or use STQRY Guide for a quicker and more affordable launch. 

You can include content usage guidance in your app, so users know that they are not allowed to re-use or share anything. What’s more, STQRY doesn’t allow users to download your content, so you don’t have to worry about making it too easy for users to copy and share videos and audio. 

Launch your app with us

When you use an app builder, you can launch your app in a matter of weeks (not the months or years required with custom coding). Not only is our app builder easy for creatives to use, it’s also designed to be simple and secure.

STQRY offers a safe way to share tour guide content with your visitors. Contact us for more information!