New app privacy changes on the App Store

Joel Oliveira
Sep 11 2020
Posted in Announcements & Events

How to address the upcoming changes in App Store Connect

As briefly mentioned in a previous post, Apple is continuously revamping its platform when it comes to user's privacy. Later this year some new important changes will be introduced in the App Store that will affect how you submit new releases and how users perceive your app before downloading it.

App Privacy Details

Starting this fall, every new release of your app will have to answer some questions about your app's privacy practices. These will be displayed in each app's page and users can learn about all the data types your app may collect, whether it is linked to personal information or if your app uses it to track them. This will also include all the data your app collects when it uses third parties like Notificare.

Before you answer these questions in App Store Connect, keep in mind the following:

  • You should already have identified all possible data collections you use, even if certain data will only be used in limited situations
  • You should make sure all the data you collect conforms to the App Store Review Guidelines and applicable laws.

It is also important to mention that you should keep these answers accurate and update it accordingly whenever your practices changes.

Data Collection

There are several categories of data that you will have to disclose its use if collected by you or any third-party. When it comes to Notificare, this data is already described in the Data Processor Agreement that you sign with us. You will be able to identify what we collect for you based on all the functionality we provide for you.

Types of Data

  • Contact Info
  • Health and Fitness
  • Financial Info
  • Location
  • Sensitive Info
  • Contacts
  • User Content
  • Browsing History
  • Search History
  • Identifiers
  • Purchases
  • Usage Data
  • Diagnostics
  • Other

More detailed information is provided by Apple in this post.

Tracking

Although Notificare does not provide any functionality for advertising purposes nor do we ever share your data with anyone else, it is worth mentioning, that later this year, if your app includes:

  • Software that displays ads based on data from another sources
  • Software that shares any type of data with a data broker or other developers
  • Software that combines your user's data with data from other sources to display targeted ads or measure advertising efficiency

You will also have to disclose these practices and identify third-party vendors.

This also became a huge discussion in the advertising community, as Apple will no longer allow apps to use the IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) without user's opt-in and any attribution software will have to adhere to the SKAdNetwork to reliably measure the conversion of installs or usage triggered by ads.

Privacy Links

Finally, Apple will also allow you to provide one more URL (optionally) in addition to the mandatory privacy policy URL that you are already providing. This page can help your users learn more about how you address their privacy and treat their data. Additionally, in this page you can also provide functionality like access to the data you collect from a user, request deletion or any other privacy related feature.

Conclusion

These changes, although daunting at first, are, in our perspective, beneficial to your business and the way you provide transparency for your users. They also are in line with GDPR requirements and therefore should be pretty straight-forward for a compliant organization.

Plus, having this detailed information beautifully displayed for you in the App Store is a great way of informing users about how seriously you care about their privacy and a major decisive factor for those that will download your app for the first time.

As always, our Support Team is available for any questions you might have via our Support Channel.

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