Google Promises to Update Its iOS Apps With Privacy Labels

The search giant has assured people that it is not trying to follow Apple's new App Store rules. Following a recent report allegations that Google has not updated its iPhone and iPad apps since December 8, 2020 to avoid adding apple's mandatory new security labels, the search giant has now come up with a reasonable explanation.

Google Is NOT Skirting Apple’s Rules

Some have criticized Google for reportedly dragging Google's feet with the App Store's new security label request. However, according to Google itself, that is not the case at all.

A company spokesperson explained in a statement to Onefctv that Google is not attempting to work around Apple's rules. The company is apparently preparing to roll out privacy labels across its iPhone and iPad apps "as soon as this week or the next".

The App Store's new App Privacy section was designed to list in one place all of the ways an app uses your data and is now mandatory for new submissions. As of December 8, every new App Store submission and update must include this information. As Fast Company noticed, to date every Google app’s privacy label still reads, "No Details Provided".

Fast Company speculates: "By receiving all of its existing app updates on or before December 7, Google has managed to avoid filling in privacy labels for any of their apps." But if people believe in Google, it's wrong to make that assumption.

The App Store Privacy Labels Are Mandatory

Under Apple regulations, Google and other developers may choose not to provide data for the App Privacy section, in which case their existing apps will remain on the store. The offending developer's account won't be suspended, but Apple won't allow in-store app updates unless the developer provides privacy details when submitting an iOS app update.

The App Privacy section gives you an overview of how apps are using your data with relevant information about data associated with users and used to track them. The idea is that people should know these things before downloading the app. Developers must clarify whether there is any part of the information associated with the user's identity.

Surprise! Facebook Collects Lots of Data

This feature has actually shown that many apps collect too much data from users, highlighting the kind of privacy intrusion we're accustomed to. That's especially true of Facebook's long-running label that reveals how much data the social network is collecting.

We'll look forward to seeing Google's security labels. Following criticism accusing Apple of exempting its apps from the rule, the company clarified that it would also show privacy labels for its own apps, whether they were prein installed or available on the App Store as standalone downloads.