It’s a sweet deal for Apple users, and a difficult one for developers—
Starting on December 8th, iOS and macOS apps will be required to describe:
- The data collected about users
- How data will be used
- App tracking information
- Permissions requested
- Whether or not data is anonymized, or explicitly linked to users
Details concerning data sharing with third-party enterprises -from ad networks to external vendors- must also be made publicly available.
Apps lacking this data will not be permitted into the official iOS App Store or the Mac App Store, reports Apple.
New changes within the app stores themselves:
Apps will be labeled with information about privacy. Apple has implied that privacy labeling will be presented clearly. The style will be similar to nutrition labeling on packages.
The downsides of this deal:
The people providing the privacy details are the developers themselves. This is akin to permitting aerospace companies to vet and approve their own product lines.
Apple is slicing and dicing user privacy in other ways:
During Q3 of this year, the company added a new banner alert to iOS 14 that informs consumers about whether or not an app is interacting with the iOS clipboard. As you’ll recall, TikTok saw heavy consumer backlash after it was discovered that the app parsed through consumers’ clipboard data. The NSA also expressed deep concerns.
Right now, app platforms can secretly collect financial data and chat records:
Some of the most well-known Millennial app darlings not only collect this data, but then sell to advertising groups. Dating apps are particularly notorious in this regard.
Will industry groups sue to take the bite out of Apple’s new measures? Quite possibly.
To learn more about Apple’s privacy initiatives, visit ThreatPost.