Written by Nick Heer.

Privacy Labels Required for App Store Apps No Later Than December 8

Apple Developer:

Later this year, the App Store will help users understand an app’s privacy practices before they download the app on any Apple platform. On each app’s product page, users can learn about some of the data types the app may collect, and whether that data is linked to them or used to track them. You can now enter your app’s privacy information in App Store Connect. This information will be required to submit new apps and app updates to the App Store starting December 8, 2020.

Apple says that, in most cases, disclosure is mandatory, with a narrow window for when it is optional. There is a broad list of data types that are considered possible vectors for tracking, and it is ideally a good move to require that developers explain their use of this personal information in more explicit terms.

I suppose the biggest questions are around whether Apple will be diligent in how it monitors the accuracy and completeness of these disclosures. That is:

  1. Can these privacy labels be trusted?

  2. Will developers face new difficulties with app review?

I hope this initiative is successful because people do not know what information apps collect and use. I worry that inconsistent oversight will make it troublesome and unreliable.