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Home / Technology / The App Store now rejects apps that use third-party SDKs that collect user data without consent

The App Store now rejects apps that use third-party SDKs that collect user data without consent



iOS 14 has several new privacy features, and there is more that comes with transparency in app tracking – which allows users to choose not to be tracked by apps. As the launch of this new option approaches, Apple has begun rejecting apps that use third-party SDKs that collect user data without consent.

Developers can implement some SDKs that help them track users by a method called “device fingerprint”, which uses several attributes such as device model, IP address and other data to identify a person on the Internet. Apps often use this data for in-depth analysis of the audience or to sell ads.

While tracking users is not exactly illegal, Apple will put a stop to apps that do this without explicit consent. As noted by analyst Eric Seufert, the company now rejects apps that use the Adjust SDK, which is one of the SDKs that provide device fingerprints.

It would not be a problem for these developers if the Adjust SDK followed Apple̵

7;s new privacy policy, but this does not seem to be the case. Seufert detailed to 9to5Mac that Adjust SDK not only has an option for users to opt out of being tracked, but has also suggested options for developers to continue tracking users when Apple enables transparency in app tracking.

With transparency in app tracking, developers will no longer be able to track users online and other apps without asking permission first. If the user decides not to be tracked, the app will not be able to collect the Advertising Identifier (IDFA) from that device. The feature is part of iOS 14.5, which is expected to be released to all users this spring.

The changes to Apple’s privacy policy have already upset some large companies such as Facebook, whose main revenue comes from advertising. More recently, former Facebook employees have detailed how the new privacy features in iOS 14 will affect the social network – and possibly other companies that collect such data.

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