Apple Offers Developers Clarification on Some App Privacy Data Reporting Requirements

Apple today informed developers that it has introduced additional guidance for App Store privacy labels, a feature that Apple has been requiring for all apps since December.

app store privacy labels iphone 12
Apple says that rules surrounding data types like email, text messages, and gameplay content have been expanded to make it easier for developers to understand and comply with requirements.

Additional details have been published on completing your ‌App Store‌ privacy labels, including more information about data types, such as email or text messages, and gameplay content. You'll also find more information about data collected in web views and data that may be entered by users within documents or other file types.

On its developer website, Apple has a detailed list of the kind of information that developers must provide for their apps, and explanations of the types of data collection that must be disclosed.

Data collection for tracking purposes, third-party advertising, marketing, and other reasons must be disclosed to users, and developers are required to self-report using Apple's guidelines. As of December, Apple has been requiring ‌App Store‌ developers to provide App Privacy label information to submit new apps and app updates to the ‌App Store‌.

Apple does not check the data that each app submits, and in January, The Washington Post found more than a dozen apps providing inaccurate or misleading data in their privacy labels.

Apple said in response that it is subjecting developers to routine and ongoing audits of information provided. The company works with developers to correct inaccuracies and has said that apps that fail to disclose accurate privacy information may have future updates rejected or could be removed from the ‌App Store‌ entirely.

Top Rated Comments

icanhazmac Avatar
5 days ago at 02:55 pm

Apple said in response that it is subjecting developers to routine and ongoing audits of information provided. The company works with developers to correct inaccuracies and has said that apps that fail to disclose accurate privacy information may have future updates rejected or could be removed from the App Store entirely.
Excellent, thank you Apple! Without consequences devs will just lie/omit.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aesc80 Avatar
5 days ago at 02:59 pm

If Apple does not check the data that each app submits, what is to stop developers from lying about their privacy label sans Apple doing a random audit? I may be missing something here but, that lack of follow-up with each app defeats the purpose of moving towards more transparency and privacy, in my opinion.
It's sort of random, but normally there is a good amount of checking that's done. That being said, it's difficult to check every submission that goes through Apple Connect for compliance. It's definitely one job I'm glad I'm not doing (but also tip my hat to those at Apple that do).
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacBH928 Avatar
5 days ago at 04:12 pm
The privacy labels is a joke. you can't understand it. Its so vague. For example the Gmail app says:

Purchases: What purchases, Its an email app not a store front.
Identifiers: Like what? My IP address or my DNA?
Other Data: Yes, ok I got it.
Search History: What search history? From the Safari browser? Chrome? My computer? TV?

add to that you can never know whats going on in a closed source program.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
5 days ago at 02:53 pm
If Apple does not check the data that each app submits, what is to stop developers from lying about their privacy label sans Apple doing a random audit? I may be missing something here but, that lack of follow-up with each app defeats the purpose of moving towards more transparency and privacy, in my opinion.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Daveoc64 Avatar
5 days ago at 03:58 pm

If Apple does not check the data that each app submits, what is to stop developers from lying about their privacy label sans Apple doing a random audit? I may be missing something here but, that lack of follow-up with each app defeats the purpose of moving towards more transparency and privacy, in my opinion.
Apple can't check what happens to the data - it's simply not possible.

As the article says, the privacy label is intended to tell users when their data is used for purposes like marketing and ads. The privacy label system has different sections to cover the different ways in which data can be collected and used.

If an app only uses your email address to send you password reset emails and nothing else, that can be declared in one place on the privacy label. If the app uses email addresses to track you for advertising purposes, that goes in a different place. If the app only uses email addresses in exceptional circumstances (e.g. when filling out an optional feedback form), the app may not need to declare that it collects email addresses at all.

Apple can't verify what happens to the data once it goes to the app developer's servers. If they say it's just for logging in, Apple has to trust that, unless proven otherwise.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
qoop Avatar
5 days ago at 04:20 am
I threw my iPhone 6S into the sea yesterday. Creepy developers can track some fish instead.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
apple store macarthur center

Apple Store at MacArthur Center in Virginia Permanently Closing Following Years of Safety Issues at Shopping Mall

Thursday February 25, 2021 4:45 pm PST by
Apple today indicated that its retail store at the MacArthur Center shopping mall in Norfolk, Virginia will be permanently closing after over 14 years of business, although an exact closure date has yet to be announced by the company. Apple has assured that it will be offering all employees at the store other positions within Apple, and said that it looks forward to continuing to serve...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
apple refurbished m1 mac mini

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished M1 Mac Mini

Thursday February 25, 2021 6:42 pm PST by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished Mac mini models with the M1 chip for the first time in the United States and Canada, with prices discounted by approximately 15 percent compared to brand new models as usual. For example, a refurbished Mac mini with the M1 chip, 256GB of SSD storage, and 16GB of unified memory is available for $759, compared to $899 brand new. Other custom...
mac mini developer transition kit photo feature

Apple Requiring Developers to Return DTK Mac Minis by March 31

Friday February 26, 2021 3:57 pm PST by
Apple today sent out emails to developers who are in possession of a Developer Transition Kit, asking them to return the machines by March 31. The Developer Transition Kits are Mac minis with A12Z chips that Apple provided for development purposes ahead of the release of the M1 Macs. Apple in the emails provided developers with shipping instructions, and plans to begin collecting the DTKs...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...