Best Practices

Future of Privacy Forum’s Best Practices page is a central repository for privacy-related guidance documents, reports, codes of conduct, and other resources that can help you navigate complex issues and implement initiatives in privacy-protective ways.

  • Algorithms

  • Apps

    Association for Competitive Technology - App Trust Project (Sep. 2012)

    A resource for developers when working to design transparency and notification systems in mobile apps.

    California Attorney General - Privacy Recommendations on the Go (Jan. 2013)

    A set of privacy practice recommendations to improve practices in the mobile marketplace and encourage app developers to consider privacy early in their development process.

    Electronic Frontier Foundation - Mobile User Privacy Bill of Rights (Mar. 2012)

    A list of rights and technical practices that developers can implement in order to respect user privacy.

    Future of Privacy Forum / Center for Democracy & Technology - Best Practices For Mobile App Developers (Jun. 2012)

    Guidelines for mobile app developers to build privacy into their apps, better inform and empower end-users, and foster trust and confidence in the mobile app ecosystem.

    Lookout Mobile Security - Mobile App Advertising Guidelines (Jun. 2012)

    A set of guidelines to help those building and integrating in-app mobile advertising technologies in order to understand what is acceptable and what is not in the mobile ecosystem.

    Mobile Marketing Association - Privacy Policy Framework (Dec. 2011)

    Model privacy policy language for mobile application developers.

    National Telecommunications & Information Administration - Code of Conduct for Mobile App Transparency (Jul. 2013)

    As chartered by the White House’s “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights,” the NTIA-convened privacy multistakeholder process to develop a code of conduct in order to provide transparency in how companies providing applications and interactive services for mobile devices that handle personal data.

    Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada - Seizing Opportunity: Good Privacy Practices for Mobile Apps (Oct. 2012)

    The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Offices of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta and British Columbia released joint best practices guidance for designing and developing mobile apps.

  • Cars

    Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers - Automotive Privacy Principles ()

    Automakers believe that strong consumer data privacy protections are essential to maintaining the trust of our customers.  Our Privacy Principles reflect a major step in protecting personal information collected in the vehicle.

  • Consumer Wearables and Wellness Apps and Devices

  • Digital Signage

    Digital Signage Federation - Privacy Standards (Feb. 2011)

    Voluntary privacy guidelines recommended by DSF for digital signage and consumer-friendly interactive marketing.

  • Drones

    Drones - Best Practices for Drone Use ()

    A wide range of privacy groups and industry stakeholders participating in the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) Multi-Stakeholder process concerning privacy, transparency, and accountability issues regarding commercial and private use of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) agreed on this set of best practices. The Future of Privacy Forum created an easy to read summary of the best practices to help educate drone operators.

    Drones - Voluntary Best Practices for UAS Privacy, Transparency, and Accountability ()

    A wide range of privacy groups and industry stakeholders participating in the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) Multi-Stakeholder process concerning privacy, transparency, and accountability issues regarding commercial and private use of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) agreed on this set of best practices.

  • Education

    Future of Privacy Forum and Software & Information Industry Association - Student Privacy Pledge ()

    The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) introduced a Student Privacy Pledge to safeguard student privacy regarding the collection, maintenance, and use of student personal information. The commitments are intended to concisely detail existing federal law and regulatory guidance regarding the collection and handling of student data, and to encourage service providers to more clearly articulate these practices.

    Future of Privacy Forum - FPF Guide to Student Data Protections Under SOPIPA: For K-12 School Administrators and Ed Tech Vendors ()

    Co-written with education privacy experts Linnette Attai of PlayWell LLC, Amelia Vance of the National Association of State Boards of Education, and David B. Rubin, Esq., this document provides an in-depth analysis for ed tech companies. In particular, we examine the definitions and unique requirements of the California Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA).

  • Facial Recognition

  • Genetics

    23andMe, Ancestry, Helix, MyHeritage, and Habit - Privacy Best Practices for Consumer Genetic Testing Services (Jul. 2018)

    Consumer genetic tests, tests that are marketed to consumers by private companies, have empowered consumers to learn more about their biology and take a proactive role in their health, wellness, ancestry, and lifestyle. When consumers expressly grant permission and provide an informed consent, they can choose to share their genetic data with responsible researchers to help them discover important breakthroughs in biomedical research, healthcare, and personalized medicine.

    The Best Practices establish standards for genetic data generated in the consumer context by making recommendations for companies’ privacy practices that require:

    • Detailed transparency about how Genetic Data is collected, used, shared, and retained including a high-level summary of key privacy protections posted publicly and made easily accessible to consumers;
    • Separate express consent for transfer of Genetic Data to third parties and for incompatible secondary uses;
    • Educational resources about the basics, risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic and personal genomic testing;
    • Access, correction, and deletion rights;
    • Valid legal process for the disclosure of Genetic Data to law enforcement and transparency reporting on at least an annual basis;
    • Ban on sharing Genetic Data with third parties (such as employers, insurance companies, educational institutions, and government agencies) without consent or as required by law;
    • Restrictions on marketing based on Genetic Data; and
    • Strong data security protections and privacy by design, among others.
  • Kid's Privacy

    Aristotle - COPPA Program & Verifiable Parental Consent ()

    A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved safe harbor provider for websites that control all of the technical services necessary to meet the updated Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule’s standards.

    Children’s Advertising Review Unit - Self-Regulatory Program for Children's Advertising ()

    The Children’s Advertising Review Unit’s (CARU) standards for advertising directed to children that ensure such ads are not deceptive, unfair or inappropriate.

    Entertainment Software Rating Board - Kids Privacy Online Seal ()

    The Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) seal program establishes requirements if any part of a member company’s website is directed to children, or the company has actual knowledge that it collects personal information from children under 13 years of age.

    kidSAFE - Seal Program ()

    A “seal of approval” program that independently reviews and certifies the safety practices of child-friendly websites and technologies, including kid-targeted sites, social networks, apps, and other interactive and online products.

    MOMS with Apps - Best Practices for Kids Apps ()

    Guidelines created by the Association of Competitive Technology (ACT) for using a logo, which will signal to parents that the mobile app developers designed their app with privacy in mind.

  • Location

    Digital Signage Federation - Digital Signage Privacy Standards (Feb. 2011)

    Guidelines related to data collection and use through digital signage for digital signature companies, partners, and host venues.

    Future of Privacy Forum - Mobile Location Analytics Code of Conduct (Oct. 2013)

    FPF has worked with a group of leading technology companies to develop best practices for mobile location analytics. These companies provide solutions to retailers by developing aggregate reports used to reduce waiting times at check-out, to optimize store layouts and to understand consumer shopping patterns. The reports are generated by recognizing the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth MAC addresses of cellphones as they interact with store Wi-Fi networks. The FPF worked with the technology companies to develop a Code to ensure that appropriate privacy controls are in place as retailers seek to improve the consumer shopping experience.

  • Market Research

    ESOMAR - Guidelines for Conducting Mobile Market Research (Jan. 2012)

    Guidelines that cover the collection of information by mobile devices (i.e. mobile phones, tablets and other similar mobile computing devices) for market, opinion or social research purposes.

    Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario - Best Practices for Protecting Individual Privacy in Conducting Survey Research (Jan. 1999)

    The Information & Privacy Commissioner’ (IPC) collaborated with the Ministry of Labour and the Corporate Freedom of Information and Privacy Office of Management to develop best practices for survey research that involves the collection, retention, use, disclosure, and disposal of personal information.

  • Mobile

    Center for Democracy & Technology - RFID Best Practices (Jan. 2006)

    Best practices designed to promote respect for consumer privacy in the growing use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in commercial applications.

    Digital Advertising Alliance - Guidelines for Mobile Ad Data (Jul. 2013)

    Guidance for member companies on how the existing Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory principles apply to certain types of data in the mobile device environment.

    Mobile Marketing Association - Mobile Marketing Best Practices (Jul. 2013)

    A comprehensive list of Mobile Marketing Association’s mobile guidelines for marketing on the mobile platform.

    Network Advertising Initiative - Mobile Application Code (Jul. 2013)

    Guidance for member companies on how the Network Advertising Initiative’s Code applies to data practices in the mobile marketplace.

    W3C - Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group (Dec. 2010)

    As part of the “Mobile Web Initiative,” W3C members chartered a working group to develop a set of technical best practices and associated materials in support of the development of web sites that provide an appropriate user experience on mobile devices.

  • Mobility

    Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment - IMMA Privacy Reference Architecture ()

    This IMMA Privacy reference architecture unambiguously specifies and clearly explains the numerous statutory requirements related to privacy. It includes examples that can be used to translate the requirements to your specific situation. This guide was created in close co-operation with Considerati (legal advisors).

  • Online Advertising

    Direct Marketing Association - Email Delivery Best Practices (Jan. 2005)

    Best practices for marketers that are seeking to maximize the delivery of communications with customers who have given their consent/permission to be contacted via e-mail.

    Direct Marketing Association - Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice (Jan. 2014)

    Guidelines that provide individuals and organizations involved in direct marketing with generally accepted principles of appropriate conduct.

    PrivacyChoice - Best Practices for Opt Outs (Jan. 2009)

    Self-regulatory rules of the road for advertising networks developed by PrivacyChoice.

    Future of Privacy Forum - Understanding Session Replay Scripts – a Guide for Privacy Professionals (Mar. 2018)

    Privacy researchers at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP)  published the results of ongoing research demonstrating that many website operators are using third-party tools called “session replay scripts” to track visitors’ individual browsing sessions, including their keystrokes and mouse movements. These “session replay scripts,” typically used as analytics tools for publishers to better understand how visitors are navigating their websites, were found on 482 of the 50,000 most trafficked websites, including government (.gov) and educational (.edu) websites, and websites of major retailers.

  • Privacy Certification/Compliance

    Better Business Bureau - Seal For The Web ()

    The Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) compliance program for member companies that must adhere to their Code of Business Practices, including its online standard.

    Entertainment Software Rating Board - Privacy Online Seal ()

    The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) requires its member companies obtain their Privacy Seal when collecting, using and disclosing personal information in the online context.

    PrivacyChoice - Privacy Score ()

    PrivacyChoice’s analytic tool that scores websites based on their information disclosures and data tracking capabilities.

    TRUSTe - Privacy Seal ()

    The seal enables companies to safely collect and use customer data in order to power their digital business via TRUSTe’s certification that ensures compliance.

  • Smart Grid

    Future of Privacy Forum & TRUSTe - Privacy Smart Seal ()

    Privacy guidelines to govern the collection, storage and disclosure of consumer energy data.

  • Social Media

    CASRO - Social Media Research Guidelines (Jan. 2011)

    Augments CASRO’s Code of Standards and Ethics for marketing research for use with research on social media. - Social Media Disclosures ()

    A start-up that provides several solutions to automate compliance and fulfill regulatory obligations in the social media space.

    Electronic Frontier Foundation - Bill of Privacy Rights for Social Network Users (May. 2010)

    Three basic privacy-protective principles that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believes social network users should demand when using these services.

    Gigya - Social Privacy Seal ()

    A certification seal of data management practices for online sites or services that use social login to authenticate users.

  • Texting

    Department of Health & Human Services - Social Media Guidelines & Best Practices (Jun. 2010)

    How to use text messaging to disseminate health messages according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).