Apple Delaying Plans to Limit Third-Party Tracking in Kids Apps

Apple is delaying its plans to limit third-party tracking and ads in apps designed for children, reports The Washington Post.

The company's decision comes following an inquiry from The Washington Post about app developers who are unhappy with the changes and what it means for the way free apps for children function.


Earlier this year, there were reports suggesting Apple would limit third-party ad tracking in apps aimed at kids to better protect their privacy, and Apple formally announced changes in June. Apple initially planned to roll out these changes in September, but is now holding off to give developers more time to adjust to the new rules.

Following an inquiry from The Washington Post, Apple said Friday that it now plans to delay the rule changes. "We aren't backing off on this important issue, but we are working to help developers get there," Apple spokesman Fred Sainz wrote in an emailed statement. The statement said some developers had asked Apple to clarify the new rules, but that "generally we have heard from them that there is widespread support for what we are trying to do to protect kids."

Apple's new App Store guidelines prevent apps for kids from using third-party analytics services, which can collect a lot of data about usage habits. Apple is also "severely curtailing" ad sales in kids apps.

In order to help keep kids' data private, apps in the kids category and apps intended for kids cannot include third-party advertising or analytics software and may not transmit data to third parties. This guideline is now enforced for new apps. Existing apps must follow this guideline by September 3, 2019.

Gerald Youngblood, the developer behind the Tankee video gaming app for kids, told The Washington Post that Apple's new rules could limit Tankee's ability to show ads, thus impacting his decision to make the app free.

Tankee shouldn't be lumped in with the apps that are negligent and fail to protect children, Youngblood said. "We thought they were going to shut down these apps that are ignoring privacy and targeting kids," he said. "We were built with privacy as a foundation."

Several other app developers and creators echoed concerns about the changes, including Dylan Collins, the chief executive of SuperAwesome, a company designed to help developers navigate child-privacy laws. "This will simply kill the kids app category," he told The Washington Post.

Apple has not said how many children's apps collect personally identifiable information on children, making it unclear how widespread the issue is. Rather than blanket banning all tracking and cutting down on ads, developers want Apple to mandate that all kids apps use advertising and analytics vetted for safety.

Developers also take issue with the fact that the new rules don't prevent developers themselves from collecting data or showing ads, it simply limits third-party options. Developers say that Apple's new restrictions will simply incentivize them to start developing apps technically made for adults, even if the users end up being children.

Apple's Phil Schiller told The Washington Post that Apple initially tried contacting developers and advertising software operators to ask them to remove inappropriate ads, but that approach ultimately failed. Schiller went on to say that Apple spoke to some developer ahead of implementing the new rules. "We gathered enough data that we're doing the right thing," said Schiller.

It's not clear how and when Apple will ultimately implement the app changes that it outlined in June, and it's not known if the company plans to make alterations before rolling out new guidelines.

The Washington Post's full article has more detail on how the changes could impact apps designed for kids and it's well worth checking out if you're a developer or a parent.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
11 months ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2019/08/20/apple-delays-kids-app-changes/')


Apple is delaying its plans ('https://www.macrumors.com/2019/05/31/apple-to-limit-third-party-tracking-in-kids-apps/') to limit third-party tracking and ads in apps designed for children, reports The Washington Post ('https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/08/20/apple-aims-protect-kids-privacy-app-makers-say-it-could-devastate-their-businesses/').

The company's decision comes following an inquiry from The Washington Post about app developers who are unhappy with the changes and what it means for the way free apps for children function.



Earlier this year, there were reports suggesting ('https://www.macrumors.com/2019/05/31/apple-to-limit-third-party-tracking-in-kids-apps/') Apple would limit third-party ad tracking in apps aimed at kids to better protect their privacy, and Apple formally announced changes in June. Apple initially planned to roll out these changes in September, but is now holding off to give developers more time to adjust to the new rules.Apple's new App Store guidelines ('https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=06032019j') prevent apps for kids from using third-party analytics services, which can collect a lot of data about usage habits. Apple is also "severely curtailing" ad sales in kids apps.Gerald Youngblood, the developer behind the Tankee video gaming app ('https://apps.apple.com/us/app/gaming-videos-for-kids/id1339413435') for kids, told The Washington Post that Apple's new rules could limit Tankee's ability to show ads, thus impacting his decision to make the app free.Several other app developers and creators echoed concerns about the changes, including Dylan Collins, the chief executive of SuperAwesome, a company designed to help developers navigate child-privacy laws. "This will simply kill the kids app category," he told The Washington Post.

Apple has not said how many children's apps collect personally identifiable information on children, making it unclear how widespread the issue is. Rather than blanket banning all tracking and cutting down on ads, developers want Apple to mandate that all kids apps use advertising and analytics vetted for safety.

Developers also take issue with the fact that the new rules don't prevent developers themselves from collecting data or showing ads, it simply limits third-party options. Developers say that Apple's new restrictions will simply incentivize them to start developing apps technically made for adults, even if the users end up being children.

Apple's Phil Schiller told The Washington Post that Apple initially tried contacting developers and advertising software operators to ask them to remove inappropriate ads, but that approach ultimately failed. Schiller went on to say that Apple spoke to some developer ahead of implementing the new rules. "We gathered enough data that we're doing the right thing," said Schiller.

It's not clear how and when Apple will ultimately implement the app changes that it outlined in June, and it's not known if the company plans to make alterations before rolling out new guidelines.

The Washington Post's full article ('https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/08/20/apple-aims-protect-kids-privacy-app-makers-say-it-could-devastate-their-businesses/') has more detail on how the changes could impact apps designed for kids and it's well worth checking out if you're a developer or a parent.

Article Link: Apple Delaying Plans to Limit Third-Party Tracking in Kids Apps ('https://www.macrumors.com/2019/08/20/apple-delays-kids-app-changes/')

[doublepost=1566352054][/doublepost]Free Ad-supported Apps are terrible, I much prefer free trial periods and letting people buy the games/apps if they actually find them worth paying for.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago
I guess I shouldn't be surprised about tracking in kid's apps...

Gross.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago

Gerald Youngblood

Unlike creepy-gross advertising strategies, the appearance of nominative determinism ('https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominative_determinism') is one of life’s pleasures.

I want to hear what Harold Kiddygame and Georgina Infantplay have to say on the matter. :D

Yours,

Ryan Forumscribbler
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago
Did the Washington Post asked the developers why they need to track the locations of children? Or are they just looking for headlines?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago
But I thought



and that



and that



It was all just lies?

:(
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago
they're all dependent on those annoying worthless tiny ads and they can't live without them. Goes to show that they're not really making apps for kids but addictive vehicles for crap ad deployment (for kids).
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Officially Obsoletes First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display

Wednesday July 1, 2020 3:40 am PDT by
As expected, Apple's first MacBook Pro with a Retina display is now officially classed as "obsolete" worldwide, just over eight years after its release. In a support document, Apple notes that obsolete products are no longer eligible for hardware service, with "no exceptions." This means that any mid-2012 Retina MacBook Pro 15-inch models still out there that require a battery or other...

New Mac Ransomware Found in Pirated Mac Apps

Tuesday June 30, 2020 11:44 am PDT by
There's a new 'EvilQuest' Mac ransomware variant that's spreading through pirated Mac apps, according to a new report shared today by Malwarebytes. The new ransomware was found in pirated download for the Little Snitch app found on a Russian forum. Right from the point of download, it was clear that something was wrong with the illicit version of Little Snitch, as it had a generic installer...

Unreleased iMac With 10-Core Comet Lake-S Chip and Radeon Pro 5300 GPU Shows Up in Geekbench

Wednesday July 1, 2020 10:48 am PDT by
Benchmarks for an unreleased iMac equipped with a 10th-generation Core i9 Intel Comet Lake-S chip and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics card have surfaced, giving us an idea of what we can expect from a refreshed 2020 iMac. The Geekbench benchmarks, which appear to be legit, were found on Twitter and shared this morning by Tom's Hardware. The iMac in the benchmarks would be a successor to the...

Leaker: Future iPhone Models to Come in 'Exquisite' Thinner Box

Wednesday July 1, 2020 1:57 am PDT by
Leaker L0vetodream this morning posted a tweet corroborating recent rumors that Apple's "iPhone 12" lineup won't come with EarPods or a charger in the box, adding that this will also eventually apply to the existing second-generation iPhone SE. L0vetodream also claims that future iPhone packaging will be "thinner" and "exquisite," which would make sense if Apple's handsets are set to come in ...

Apple's A12Z Under Rosetta Outperforms Microsoft's Native Arm-Based Surface Pro X

Monday June 29, 2020 10:31 am PDT by
Apple's Developer Transition Kit equipped with an A12Z iPad Pro chip began arriving in the hands of developers this morning to help them get their apps ready for Macs running Apple Silicon, and though forbidden, the first thing some developers did was benchmark the machine. Multiple Geekbench results have indicated that the Developer Transition Kit, which is a Mac mini with an iPad Pro chip, ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Models Won't Include Charger in Box, 20W Power Adapter Will Be Sold Separately

Sunday June 28, 2020 7:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 models will not include EarPods or a power adapter in the box, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. This lines up with a prediction shared by analysts at Barclays earlier this week. Kuo said that Apple will instead release a new 20W power adapter as an optional accessory for iPhones and end production of its existing 5W and 18W power adapters...

Rosetta 2 Benchmarks Surface From Mac Mini With A12Z Chip

Monday June 29, 2020 7:48 am PDT by
While the terms and conditions for Apple's new "Developer Transition Kit" forbid developers from running benchmarks on the modified Mac mini with an A12Z chip, it appears that results are beginning to surface anyhow. Image Credit: Radek Pietruszewski Geekbench results uploaded so far suggest that the A12Z-based Mac mini has average single-core and multi-core scores of 811 and 2,781...

Display Analyst Once Again Says No 120Hz ProMotion Display Coming to iPhone 12 Pro

Wednesday July 1, 2020 11:29 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 models will not feature an upgraded 120Hz ProMotion display, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young previously said that Apple would not implement ProMotion technology until it adopted low-power LTPO display technology, a move Apple is not expected to make until 2021. In a tweet shared this morning, Young said that the none of his contacts have been able to...

Apple Seeds Third Betas of iOS and iPadOS 13.6 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Tuesday June 30, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 13.6 updates to developers, three weeks after seeding the second betas and over a month after releasing iOS/iPadOS 13.5 with Exposure Notification API, Face ID updates, Group FaceTime changes, and more. iOS and iPadOS 13.6 can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or over the air once the proper developer profile has been...

The New York Times Ends Apple News Partnership and Pulls All Articles

Monday June 29, 2020 11:17 am PDT by
The New York Times today announced that it is pulling out of Apple News, as the service does not "align with its strategy of building direct relationships with paying readers." Starting today, articles from The New York Times will no longer show up in the Apple News app. The news site says that Apple has given it "little in the way of direct relationships with readers" and "little control...