Apple to remove apps that do not comply with new privacy feature

Apple threatens to remove apps from its App Store if developers do not ensure that they comply with an upcoming privacy feature that allows users to block advertisers from tracking them across apps.

The new feature is called the App Tracking Transparency and was going to go into effect this year. However, Apple delayed it a bit to give developers more time to develop new versions of their apps that comply with the privacy requirement.

Some tech companies and advertisers affected by this change have offered their criticisms and say that it could hurt small developers like gamers disproportionately.

There’s a deadline now

The senior VP of software engineering at Apple, Craig Federighi, has said that users have a right to know when they are being tracked and should be offered a way to stop the unbridled data collection.

Speaking at the European Data Protection and Privacy Conference, Craig said that in early 2021, Apple would begin requiring all App Store apps to obtain the user’s consent in explicit terms before they start tracking.

Developers who cannot comply or meet the standards set will not host their apps on the store.

Related: Is Apple going to consolidate or innovate in end-user computing?

Invasive tracking as a business model

The new feature will have a pop-up notification where apps will use the words ‘would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies.’

The expectation is that most people will not grant permission and digital advertising companies are not happy about it. That could impact their revenue in a significant way. More people realize that the collection of data by these companies is unlawful and invasive in many cases.

The arguments made by these advertisers are, therefore, self-serving and ultimately disrespectful of individual opinions and freedoms. 

Tip: Apple to require standardized privacy certifications on all apps