Apple introduces privacy information for apps across all of its stores

ZDNet

Image: Apple

Apple has begun to publish privacy summaries in all of its app stores across iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, with developers now needing to answer a questionnaire as part of submitting an app or update.

Cupertino says this requirement applies to all developers including itself. Developers are required to tell Apple whether apps collect information such as names, email address, phone numbers, home addresses, and health and fitness data.

The information provided into the summary is broken down into three types: Data used to track you, data linked to you, data not linked to you.

The first category is defined as data that is combined with data from other apps or sites for the purposes of advertising or harvesting from data brokers, and the linked category is data that is tied to a user account on the app or device.

Users are still able to deny permissions within the app if they so choose.

The summary is based entirely on the answers provided by the developer, with the existing app review process remaining separate.

On the question of how developers will know what the privacy implications of the libraries they use are, Apple said it is seeing SDK makers updating their documentation in a way that provides information on privacy, but it remains the responsibility of developers to answer for the whole application.

Apple said it may follow up with developers if the information provided is found to be incorrect or users report a discrepancy, and failure to honestly answer the questions has the potential to lead to delisting. The company added that national data regulators could treat the privacy summary as a public statement on which to regulate and base decisions upon.

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