Quick Hits Issue 2: Privacy is Paramount (and easy)

In this second issue of Quick Hits, I want to share a couple of good posts on the topic of privacy policies for Windows Store apps. You may have heard already that if your app connects to the internet (and many, if not most, apps do), you are required to provide a privacy policy for your app, one that is accessible both from within the app (via the Settings charm) and from the app’s store listing.

Host Your Privacy Policy on a Windows Azure Web Site

My colleague Jim O’Neil provides a nice walkthrough of how you can quickly set up a free Windows Azure website to host your privacy policy online, giving step-by-step instructions for the whole process, including the code to launch an externally-hosted privacy policy from within a C#/XAML app:

   1:  protected override void OnWindowCreated(WindowCreatedEventArgs args)
   2:  {
   3:      SettingsPane.GetForCurrentView().CommandsRequested += (s, e) =>         
   4:        e.Request.ApplicationCommands.Add(
   5:           new SettingsCommand("privacypolicy", "Privacy policy", ShowPrivacyPolicy)
   6:        );
   7:  }
   9:  private async void ShowPrivacyPolicy(IUICommand c)
  10:  {
  11:      await Launcher.LaunchUriAsync(
  12:                 new Uri("http://yourwindows8appname.azurewebsites.net/privacy.html"));
  13:  }


One thing Jim doesn’t attempt to address, however, is what your privacy policy should contain. That’s where a recent post from Pete Brown comes in.

Traits of a Good Windows Store app Privacy Policy

Like Jim, Pete doesn’t tell you precisely what your privacy policy should say, and for good reason. A privacy policy is a legal document, and since none of us are lawyers (much less YOUR lawyers), we’re not qualified to provide specific advice on your exact situation. That’s something you’d be wise to consult with an actual lawyer about.

But Pete does provide a really good overview of what a privacy policy is, links to the specific Windows Store certification requirements for privacy policies, and some tips on how to create a good privacy policy.


Bottom line: If you’re working on an app for the Windows Store, both of the above posts should be considered required reading.

Get Started

If you’re not working on an app yet, we’ve got lots of resources to help you get started, including the Generation App website, with tons of documentation, videos, and more. And I and many of my fellow Technical Evangelists are offering regular Office Hours to help app developers get their apps ready for the store. There are both in-person and virtual appointments available, and you can find upcoming office hours at the URLs below:

My Office Hours: http://usdpe.ohours.org/devhammer

All Office Hours with Microsoft US Technical Evangelists: http://usdpe.ohours.org/

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