Apple asks app developers to disclose user data on apps


App developers will have to submit new apps and app updates to the App Store starting December 8, 2020

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Apple has asked its app developers to reveal user data that they and their third-party partners collect for apps and app updates.

“Third-party partners” refers to analytics tools, advertising networks, third-party SDKs, or other external vendors whose code developers add to their app.

“You need to identify all of the data you or your third-party partners collect,” the company said in its App developer site.

App developers will have to submit new apps and app updates to the App Store starting December 8, 2020.

This will enable users can learn about some of the data types the apps may collect once developers put that on each app’s product page, later this year.

They can also know if that data is linked to them or used to track them.

“You’ll need to provide information about your app’s privacy practices, including the practices of third-party partners whose code you integrate into your app, in App Store Connect,” Apple said.

Apple’s move is said to help its users understand an app’s privacy practices before they download it on any of Apple’s platform.

Developers should also provide details on apps’ privacy practices and ensure that they must follow the App Store review guidelines and laws.

Apple has also cautioned them to be accurate and update their responses in App Store Connect when they change any policy.

The Cupertino-based company has directed them to have clarity on how each data type is used by developers and their third-party partners.

The company has also suggested developers to use Privacy Choices or Privacy Policy links to provide additional detail on how data collection practices may vary.

They also need to understand if data from their apps is used to track users and, if so, which data is used for this.

“Tracking” refers to linking data collected from an app like user ID, device ID, or profile of a person or device, with Third-Party data.

Companies might use this data for targeted advertising or share with data brokers.

Apple has also listed certain data types that are optional to disclose.

This includes data that is not used for tracking purposes, the developer’s own advertising or marketing purposes, third-party advertising, data collected in optional feedback forms or customer service requests not related to the primary purpose of the app.