December 8, 2020
Apple to tighten app privacy, remove apps that don't comply
Apple is stepping up privacy for app users, forcing developers to be more transparent about data collection and warning they could be removed if they don't comply with a new anti-tracking measure, a company executive and regulators said Tuesday.
The U.S. tech giant said it's set to roll out the anti-tracking feature next year and warned it could kick apps off its widely used App Store if they don't obey its requirements.
Called App Tracking Transparency, it will require apps to clearly ask for users' permission before tracking them. It was due to be launched this year but was delayed to allow developers more time to make changes.
"Its aim is to empower our users to decide when or if they want to allow an app to track them in a way that could be shared across other companies' apps or websites," Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said.
"Developers who fail to meet the standard can have their apps taken down from the app store," Federighi said in an subject of complaints by European privacy activists who say the company uses software that tracks the behavior of iPhone users. Vienna-based group NOYB, founded by lawyer and activist Max Schrems, last month asked data protection authorities in Germany and Spain to examine the legality of unique codes that they say amount to tracking without users' knowledge or consent, a practice banned under strict European Union privacy rules.
In a separate policy update, apps in the App Store will soon start giving users more details about the personal data they use, Britain's apnews.com/apf-technology
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