KEY POINTS

  • Apple will soon require developers to disclose their privacy practices
  • This will let consumers know what data apps might collect from them
  • Developers will be required to provide the information for the app “labels” starting Dec. 8

Apple will soon require developers to provide a sort-of “nutrition label” to their apps on the App Store. This is meant to help iDevice users determine an app’s privacy practices before they download and install it.

According to the updated developer webpage, Apple will require developers to share important details regarding their apps, particularly their privacy practices, starting next month. These details will be added to App Store Connect and will be made publicly available so that all iDevice users can be informed about what kind of data apps might collect before they download the apps.

These details will act as a “label” meant to inform Apple device users of what they need to know. Here’s a quick overview of what details developers will be required to submit:

  • Data Collection

App developers will be asked to reveal information about all of the data that they or their third-party partners collect from users. This includes contact information such as names, email addresses, contact numbers and physical addresses.

This will also include other crucial user information such as health data, payment information, location details and sensitive information such as racial or ethnic data, among others.

  • Disclosure

Developers will also need to provide details regarding what happens to all the data their apps and third-party partners collect from users. This includes whether the data will be used for advertising purposes, product personalization or app improvement (such as user authentication and customer support).

They are also required to indicate whether the data is linked to the user or stripped of identifiers and if it is used to track their whereabouts.

  • Privacy Links

App developers will have to provide users with links to their Privacy Policy so they can read it. Developers can also submit links to URLs providing users with options on managing their privacy. These URLs can, for example, let users access their personal data, make changes to the data and request to have the data erased from memory.

Apple’s webpage provides developers with more guidance regarding the new privacy feature. Those who wish to read it can do so here.

Developers will be required to submit all of this information starting Dec. 8.

Some developers say Apple takes too big a bite of the revenue and maintains rigid policies that may hamstring services competing with those of the iPhone maker Some developers say Apple takes too big a bite of the revenue and maintains rigid policies that may hamstring services competing with those of the iPhone maker Photo: AFP / Josh Edelson