Privacy “nutrition labels” now required for Apple App Store apps

Privacy labels are now live on all Apple platforms.

The privacy labels were created as part of Apple’s promise to provide more transparency regarding iOS app data collection on the apps carried in the App Store.

Apple announced their intention to provide these privacy label disclosures during WWDC in June.

The deadline for developers to provide their data collection intentions was December 8, 2020. Developers that did not provide privacy information risked losing their ability to update their apps.

Now that that deadline has passed, Apple has launched the feature for all iOS device owners that are running the latest version of iOS 14.

These new labels will be required for apps on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

Every time that a developer submits a new update they must make sure that the privacy labels for their app are up to date and accurate.

Apple will be following suit to make sure that their own first-party apps will have all the same disclosures.

For Apple apps that don’t have an App Store product page because it’s unable to be removed – such as the Messages App – Apple will provide privacy label information on the web.

The labels for data collection are broken down into three categories – data used to track you – data linked to you – and data not linked to you.

The “data used to track you” section of the privacy label specifies where the app developer is linking data from the app with other data for other companies’ apps or websites for the purpose of targeted advertising or similar ad-related metrics.

The “data linked to you” section is any data that can be used to specifically identify you. This is data that is gleaned from your use of the app or having an account with the service. It can also mean data that is pulled from the device itself that could be used to create a profile of you in order for advertisers to market to you effectively.

The “data not linked to you” section provides clarification about privacy data that doesn’t specifically identify you, such as location data and browsing data.

While the currently privacy labels do not allow users to opt out of the sharing of their data, Apple intends to implement additional privacy changes in the coming year that will provide that feature.

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