iPhone users will now have an in-depth look at how apps behave on their devices. Starting this month, Apple app stores will show details regarding how data is gathered and used.
The company says it is not seeking to change how the publishers’ on their app store run their business models. However, developers will now be required to show what information they gather, listed in terms of what is taken to track users and what is linked directly to the.
Apple apps have not been exempted for the rule.
The tech giant cited location and contact information as examples of data collected by app developers to track users and their activities. It said that henceforth, the information would be displayed at the top as more users are interested in the info.
Other data that could be linked directly to the individual include health, fitness, finances and search history.
In the new rule, Apps will also be required to disclose whether they gather users’ data from other apps and websites that they have visited before to target advertising. In the same breath, they will be required o share if and what data they share with third parties including ad networks.
This will give the user the freedom to opt out if they are not comfortable, and they can also decide not to download the app at all.
“All the data privacy experts and lawyers will say it’s a step in the right direction, and it is, but what does this change for the user?” said independent researcher Dr Stephanie Hare.
“It doesn’t change the actual nature of their data and what’s happening with it. It makes them more aware of privacy, but the choice about how to download the app itself hasn’t changed.”
Apple said that it hoped the new rules would help focus the minds of both developers and consumers. The company also said it would be carrying out spot checks from time to time to ensure that app users give honest declarations.