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Home / Technology / Apple will require all apps to have a privacy policy from October 3rd – TechCrunch

Apple will require all apps to have a privacy policy from October 3rd – TechCrunch



Apple breaks down on apps that do not communicate to users how their personal data is used, secured or shared. In an announcement sent to developers via the App Store Connect portal, Apple states that all apps, including those still in testing, will be required to have a privacy policy from October 3, 2018.

Allow apps without privacy policy to be something of an obvious gap that Apple should have already plugged, giving its overall protective nature over user data. But the change is even more critical now that Europe's GDPR regulations have come into force. Although app manufacturers themselves will ultimately be responsible for the customer's data, Apple, as the platform where these apps are hosted, also has a responsibility here.

Today's platforms are held responsible for the behavior of their apps, and data abuse that may occur as a result of their own guidelines around these apps.

For example, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was drawn to the US Senate on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where data from 87 million Facebook users was unsuitable using Facebook apps.

Apple's new requirements therefore give the company a layer of protection. Any app that crashes forward may be held liable through its own privacy policy and the statements it contains.

Apple also notes that the privacy policy link or text can not be changed until the developer sends a new version of his app. There seems to be some loophole here, but if developers add a link pointing to an external website, they can change what the website says at any time after the app is approved.

The new policy will be necessary for all apps and app updates in the App Store, as well as the TestFlight test platform as of October 3, Apple says.

It is not clear that if Apple itself will review all privacy policies itself as part of this change, to be able to reject apps with questionable data usage policies or user protection. If so, App Store review times may increase, unless the company has employed more employees.

Apple has already considered apps it finds dubious, like Facebook's data-intensive VPN app Onavo, as it kicked out of the App Store earlier this month. The app had lived for years, and its App Store text showed that the data collected was shared with Facebook. The fact that Apple just started it now indicates that it will take a tougher attitude toward programs designed to gather user data as one of their primary features in the future.


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