Social network apps on an iPhone

Apple adds ‘privacy labels’ to its App Store

Image credit: Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

Apple will launch “privacy labels” on its App Store so that users know what apps will do with their data before downloading them.

First announced in June at its WWDC developer conference, the firm told developers that they would need to provide with information by 8 December or risk losing the ability to update their apps.

The labels will appear on the product pages of every app available to download to an Apple device, including the company's own software.

It has likened the new labelling system to nutritional information that can be found on food products.

The labels will eventually appear on all apps across the stores dedicated to Apple’s different devices and operating systems: iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS.

“Every one of the more than 1.8 million apps on the App Store is required to follow strict privacy guidelines and report how it uses your data,” the tech company said.

“And every app is rigorously reviewed by a team of experts at Apple.

“When you’re checking out an app, you’ll get a summary of privacy practices to help decide if it works for you. Apps you choose to download need your permission to access information like photos or location – and you can always change your mind about what you share.”

Each app’s data collection methods will be broken down into three categories: “data used to track you,” “data linked to you,” and “data not linked to you.”

Apple has long championed privacy features as one of the reasons for buying into its premium ecosystem where devices tend to be more expensive than rivals.

Last year, it launched a new ‘Sign In With Apple’ feature designed to offer users enhanced privacy when logging into websites and as an alternative to Facebook and Google web login accounts.

Apps that use Google and Facebook logins typically share the user data with those companies, a practice that Apple’s service aims to stop. Websites using the Apple login will also not receive any personal details about the user.

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