Apple will require developers to add privacy nutrition labels to apps

Labels will help iDevice users understand apps’ privacy practices before installation

Starting December 8, Apple will require app developers to detail app privacy information on the App store. The details, which Apple calls “privacy nutrition labels,” will better inform users what data apps collect and if that data is linked to them or used for tracking purposes — all without having to read a lengthy, confusing privacy policy. 

Apple says it’ll require this information for new and updated apps. Developers can start submitting their apps’ privacy information now through the company’s App Store Connect website. They must have this information uploaded by December 8.

When preparing the app “privacy nutrition labels,” Apple expects developers to keep the following in mind:

  • Labels must identify all possible data collection and uses, even if apps collect certain data for limited use
  • Responses should follow the App Store review guidelines and applicable laws
  • Only app owners are responsible for keeping responses (or labels) accurate and up to date

Apple will also ask developers to reveal all the user data that third-party partners may collect. This includes contact information, such as names, email addresses, contact numbers and physical addresses. For example, if an app needs to know your location, you’ll know it before downloading it. 

If executed properly, the privacy labels will work much like nutrition labels on the back of packaged foods, which state the ingredients, calories and other nutrition content.

“Examples of data that may not need to be disclosed include data collected in optional feedback forms or customer service requests that are unrelated to the primary purpose of the app and meet the other criteria above. For the purpose of clarity, data collected on an ongoing basis after an initial request for permission must be disclosed”, Apple mentioned on its developer webpage.

To learn more about the privacy labels, head to Apple’s developer support page.

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