Apple isn’t exempting itself from a new privacy rule requiring App Store software to reveal how users’ information is used. Even the applications that come pre-installed on iPhone and iPad will display their privacy info in the App Store.
The iPhone-maker made the clarification to The Verge after WhatsApp accused Apple of unfairly requiring third-party developers to reveal their privacy practices when Apple Messenger and its other software is exempt.
Apple mandates privacy ‘nutrition labels’
A promise at Apple’s WWDC developers conference in June was the beginning of the App Store displaying information about the privacy practices of applications. This will let users check before they download them. They’ve been compared to nutrition labels for software.
The iPhone-maker asked developers to start entering the information in November. And as of December 8, it must be on file with Apple for devs to submit new apps and app updates. Users will get access to the privacy details of the software they use with the release of iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3, which is expected within the week.
Apple better be a shining example
The privacy information revealed better show that Messages and other Apple software collect an absolute minimal amount of user data or the Mac-maker is going to be in for serious criticism. It repeatedly states that privacy is a “fundamental human right.” And Cupertino made protecting user privacy a differentiator between its products and those of its rivals. The company even released videos in the autumn under the tag line “Privacy. That’s iPhone.”
That’s in contrast to the business practices of Google. Apple’s arch rival uses its Android OS to gather as much personal information about users it can, then sell it to advertisers. The privacy labels on Apple apps are an opportunity for the company to show it’s living up to its promises.