Apple Makes Privacy Policy Mandatory for App Store Apps

In a new development, Apple has now made it mandatory for all apps listed on the App Store to provide a link to its privacy policy in its metadata. This announcement was made by the Cupertino giant via Apple Store Connect to all its developers. The company states that all existing apps that do not have a privacy policy URL in place must include this link in their next update. New apps will have to include the link as a mandate.

Earlier, Apple made it mandatory to include a privacy policy URL for apps that had subscriptions, but now it is being made compulsory for all apps. This change will come into effect from October 3. Apple is not pulling apps from the Store that don’t have the privacy policy link in place, but is making it a mandate for them to include that info in the next update.

While this doesn’t change much for subscription-based apps, apps that don’t have much utility, and are able to run offline as well, will now need to make a page with privacy policies listed, just for App Store. This comes in the wake of increasing number of reports regarding backdoor data collection without the knowledge of the users by apps and services. Apple, known for its tough security policies, is ensuring that all loopholes are sealed off to prevent unethical practices.

This move could also be a result of the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)that has come into effect since May this year. Apple even introduced new tools to allow consumers to control how their data are used and deactivate their Apple ID accounts, in a bid to bring its services into line with the tough new EU data protection law.

According to 9to5Mac, the privacy policy link will open in Safari for iPhone and iPad users. For tvOS users, Apple is making a text box available to developers for copy pasting their privacy policy. Because the tvOS doesn’t have a browser, it will display the text box on users’ TV screen.