Apple Debuts Privacy Labels Showing Users’ Data Usage

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Apple has updated its App Store with new “privacy labels” to show the information that iPhone apps collect on users, CNBC reported.

The labels are displayed under a button to download an app, with some apps receiving as much as three labels due to the information app makers are required to submit to update their apps, CNBC reported.

The labels, according to CNBC, include “data used to track you”; “data linked to you”; “data not linked to you,” in which developers collect data but won’t connect it to the user’s account or device; “no data collected”; and “no information available,” a label which will be used for apps that have not been updated since the new labels went into place.

The move reflects the scrutiny over the process of collecting data from customers in recent years, with Apple having taken measures to limit ad tracking and other features that collected data from users. The company has relied more and more on privacy features to distinguish itself from competitors, including phone makers using Google‘s Android, CNBC reported.

The labels were first announced in June and have drawn criticisms from app makers who say the labels will discourage people from downloading the apps and, as such, the makers will lose revenue. Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp, for example, said the privacy label for its app doesn’t fully describe how data is used on the service, CNBC reported.

Apple has been working on its privacy features for some time, including an announcement this month that apps that fail to comply with its rules could be booted altogether from the App Store, PYMNTS reported. A top Apple executive said last week that a new privacy protection to let users block advertisers from tracking their online movements will go into effect in early 2021, while app makers not seeking users’ permission to use their information will find themselves barred.

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