Apple’s App Privacy Labels May Not Be Completely Accurate

Apple’s new privacy labels may not be completely accurate according to a new report shared on the Washington Post. ”I checked Apple’s new privacy ‘nutrition labels.’ Many were false.” said technology columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler.

Apple first introduced the app privacy labels at the Worldwide Developer Conference 2020 (WWDC) saying they would give users a better understanding of how their personal data is shared or used. 

The tech giant required developers to submit their privacy info by December 8 and app labels went live on the App Store last month

However, a recent report by the Washington Post shows that Apple’s new app labels that launched to offer more transparency to users may not be completely accurate.

Technology columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler conducted a test with the apps that received the ‘’Data not collected’’ label and claimed they still collect user data. 

“I downloaded a de-stressing app called the Satisfying Slime Simulator that gets the App Store’s highest-level label for privacy. It turned out to be the wrong kind of slimy, covertly sending information—including a way to track my iPhone—to Facebook, Google and other companies.” he said. 

The app also reportedly shared user data on the device’s battery, free storage space, volume level and device location. 

He went on testing ‘’a couple dozen apps’’ and claimed they are also ‘’either misleading or flat-out inaccurate.’’ 

As reported by the Washington Post, the problem is that Apple relies on app developers’ honesty and it has probably resulted with some developers lying and providing misinformation.  

Apple doesn’t verify the privacy information submitted by developers and the details pages for the privacy labels says that ”This information has not been verified by Apple.”

Speaking with the Washington Post, Apple spokeswoman Katie Clark-AlSadder said: “Apple conducts routine and ongoing audits of the information provided and we work with developers to correct any inaccuracies. Apps that fail to disclose privacy information accurately may have future app updates rejected, or in some cases, be removed from the App Store entirely if they don’t come into compliance.”

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Written by Maya Robertson


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