Today TrustArc announced a groundbreaking partnership with the 2014 UK Mobile & App Design Awards, part of a global Grand Slam series including participants from the UK, U.S., Asia, and Australia, which recognizes innovation and design within the mobile app ecosystem.


For the first time, privacy will be an entry requirement for all award submissions.


Mark Bergin, Chair of the UK Mobile & App Design Awards, commented, “TrustArc represents the values of trust and privacy across the online community.


Without an underlying trust framework, we would be unable to celebrate the courage of clients to commission projects, the creative that delivers the outcomes, and the customers that take the opportunity to explore new tools.


We look forward to working with TrustArc to expand the use of best practices and champion the cause of privacy.”


In today’s market, developers race to bring innovative applications to market to draw in consumers, build engagement with diverse audiences and drive new streams of revenue for businesses using the vast amount of data available from mobile users.


Traditionally, their core expertise and function have been to conceptualize and design new user interfaces and optimize apps to run on any device across different platforms.


However, app developers have to balance this pressure with growing consumer privacy concerns (76% of smartphone users will not download an app they don’t trust) and increased regulatory scrutiny.


Rich Qiu, Vice President Mobile & Business Development at TRUSTe said, “App designers are on the privacy front line balancing the need to bring innovative applications to market with meeting global compliance requirements and addressing growing consumer concerns about downloading and sharing personal information with apps.


This groundbreaking new partnership with the App Design Awards pushes privacy up the agenda for designers and rewards those who are already ahead of the pack.”


This news coincides with  the Global Privacy Enforcement Network’s second international sweep this week which is reviewing how mobile apps deal with the collection and use of personal data and protect consumer privacy.


This move sends a clear signal to both companies and developers – privacy cannot be an afterthought – and it must be an integral part of the development process.


As a complex, evolving concept, privacy is vital to the success of apps in today’s competitive market with the explosive growth in Europe targeted to reach $86 billion according to a recent report.


Developers must address consumer privacy concerns and protect personal information in line with regulatory requirements and compliance laws, but also understand how the privacy landscape varies by geography.


This partnership supports recent initiatives from regulators to work with app developers to understand and implement mobile privacy best practice.


In the EU in February 2013, the Article 29 Working Party adopted its Opinion on Apps on Smart Devices and last December the UK ICO published Guidelines for Mobile App Developers.


In the U.S., the Digital Advertising Alliance spearheads a self-regulatory program to protect consumer data in online advertising.


The DAA has issued specific Online Behavioral Advertising guidelines for the mobile environment and in California, the Attorney General office has issued in-depth privacy recommendations for the entire mobile ecosystem.


Joanne McNabb, Director of Privacy Education and Policy at the California Attorney General’s Office welcomed the partnership saying, “With the addition of privacy as a factor, the Mobile & App Design Awards can serve as a catalyst that speeds up the process of building privacy into the design of mobile apps.


I look forward to seeing some exciting privacy innovations.”