Apple, always strict for the safety of their users !

Apple as always works for the safety of their users and their users prove the same. Following the same, it is now pushing down on apps that don’t communicate to users how their personal data is shared or used in any terms. In an announcement to developers through the App Store Connect portal, Apple says that all apps, including those still in testing, will be required to have a privacy policy as of October 3, 2018.

Allowing apps without privacy policies is something of an loop hole that Apple should have already plugged, given its generally protective nature over user data. But as per Europe’s GDPR regulations, the change is even more tough. Though the app developers or managers themselves would be ultimately responsible for their customers’ data, Apple, as the platform where those apps are hosted, has some responsibility here, too.

Platforms were accountable for the nature of their apps, and the data misuse that may occur as a result of their own policies around those apps.

For example, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook was dragged before the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees in US about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where data from 87 million users of Facebook was inappropriately obtained by way of external apps developed in Facebook.

Apple’s new terms, therefore, provides the developer firms with a layer of protection. Apps that falls through the cracks going forward will be able to be held accountable by way of its own privacy policy and the statements it contains.

Apple also notes that the privacy policy’s link or text cannot be changed until the developer submits a new version of their app. It might be a bit of loophole here, as if developers add a link pointing to an external webpage, they can change the terms over that webpage any time after their app is approved.

Although its very tough, if Apple itself will be reviewing all the privacy policies themselves as part of this change, in order to reject apps with questionable data use policies or user protections. If it does, App Store review times which is already a major concern for App makers could even increase more.

The fact that Apple only declared it now seems to indicate it will take a tougher stance on apps which are designed to collect user data as one of their primary functions going forward as they are really concerned for the safety of their users.

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