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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

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5 weeks 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.
Rating: 12 Votes
5 weeks ago
I guess I shouldn't be surprised about tracking in kid's apps...

Gross.
Rating: 7 Votes
5 weeks 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
Rating: 6 Votes
5 weeks 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).
Rating: 4 Votes
5 weeks ago
Absolute proof that privacy is not Apple's priority
Rating: 4 Votes
5 weeks ago
But I thought



and that



and that



It was all just lies?

:(
Rating: 4 Votes
5 weeks ago
Did the Washington Post asked the developers why they need to track the locations of children? Or are they just looking for headlines?
Rating: 4 Votes
5 weeks ago

But I thought



and that



and that



It was all just lies?

:(


Children aren't humans apparently (they can't sign up for Apple Card so Tim doesn't care about them)
Rating: 3 Votes
5 weeks 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).

I guess Death to Smoochy was more accurate than not.
Rating: 1 Votes
5 weeks ago

I wonder what things can be track from kids usage..
I also wonder what personally identifiable information are recorded from kids? :)
I am curious what ads are appearing on those apps for kids?

I am thinking, If Apple is really thinking about the kids, why not they create apps for kids for free.. I mean they are the first company who reached $1 trillion and now is sitting around $ 970 billion.

Does Apple has a share from whatever income free apps gets from ads?


Apple gets a 30% cut of ad revenue if they're served by Apple's ad service.

Apple is an advertiser, and privacy is just a smokescreen to make their own advertising platform more competitive by restricting competition. Just like with ads in Apple News. Apple prevents tracking to "protect" customers, but if you want to pay Apple they'll target your ads to particular demographics for you.
[doublepost=1566369944][/doublepost]

Companies tracking kids in kid type apps, yea really gross! Apple should not drag their feet on this … just don't allow it.

But what if parents legitimately wish to keep track of their kids?

I think if there was a tracking option in a "kids app" and if ALL tracking related data was limited SOLEY to parent's access, and only parents could activate tracking, then maybe parents should be allowed to track but defiantly not a company or some app developer.


You mean track your kid's location? Just use Find My Friend?
Rating: 1 Votes

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