Apple Making It Mandatory for All Apps to Have a Privacy Policy Page

Apple has informed all developers that they must include a link to their privacy policy in their app’s metadata. The rule will come into effect from October 3rd thereby giving developers plenty of time to comply with it.

Irrespective of whether your app requires any user data to work or not and whether it even connects to the internet, Apple is making it mandatory for developers to link to their privacy policy URL in their app’s metadata. Previously, apps that offered a subscription model were required to have a privacy policy page but now Apple is making it compulsory for all kind of apps.

Apple also details in its announcement that developers must clearly state in their privacy policy as to what user data they are collecting. It also puts the onus on developers to ensure that any third-party framework used by them in their apps conforms to their own privacy policy guidelines.

While Apple will not pull existing apps from the App Store for not adhering to this guideline, it will prevent developers from updating their apps until they get around to complying with this change.

Our Take

While Apple has always kept the privacy of its users as one of its primary objects, it has come down heavily in recent times on offending apps and become more strict in this regard. The company even told Facebook to remove its popular VPN app from the App Store since it was not adhering to the App Store’s guidelines. In this day and age where every company just wants to get their hands on as much user data as possible, it is good to see a company like Apple ensure that the data and privacy of its users are not compromised in any way by having a tight control on its own platform and ecosystem of apps.

Apple has also updated its App Store guidelines this year to prevent apps from collecting user data for marketing purposes.