Apple

Apple Makes New Privacy Policy Requirement For Apps

To take on apps that don’t give users information on the use of their personal data, Apple is introducing a new requirement: At the beginning of October, apps will have to have a privacy policy – even those that are in testing, according to reports.

“Starting Oct. 3, 2018, App Store Connect will require a privacy policy for all new apps and app updates in order to be submitted for distribution on the App Store or through TestFlight external testing,” a statement on Apple’s website reads. “In addition, your app’s privacy policy link or text will only be editable when you submit a new version of your app.”

The news comes as Facebook removed its data security app from Apple’s App Store because it violates Apple’s data collection policies, it was reported earlier this month. With the app, called Onavo Protect, users can develop a virtual private network that redirects internet traffic to a private server managed by Facebook, which will send alerts when a user visits a potentially malicious site. However, Facebook was also able to use the app to collect and analyze users’ activity to gauge how people use their phones, which violated Apple’s new rules that limit data collection by app developers. Onavo also violated a part of Apple’s developer agreement that prohibits apps from being used for analysis or marketing.

After meetings to discuss the matter, Apple suggested that Facebook voluntarily take down the app and the social media giant agreed. The app will still be available on Android devices. In a statement, Apple pointed out that its updated developer guidelines are very specific about how developers can and cannot use the data from their apps.

Apple’s new guidelines were created to ensure that user data is not abused, and the company has started the process of removing apps that aren’t in compliance with its updated rules. It has been estimated that mobile apps available for purchase or download through Apple’s App Store are expected to double in size and surpass five million by 2020.

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