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Apple adds App Store privacy ‘nutrition labels’ and you may not like what you see

Apple has delivered on its promise to add so-called ‘nutrition labels’ to App Store listings, which forces developers to disclose what data they are collecting from users.

The new privacy labels shows users what information is collected by the apps before they download them. Developers are required to submit the information to Apple if they wish to keep their apps on the App Store.

Related: Best iPhone

Many app listings on iOS and macOS will now feature up to three labels explaining to users precisely what is being collected and for what purpose. Just below the download button, users will begin seeing labels like:

Data used to track you: You may see this if the app in question seeks to track users outside of the application. This might include contact information, location and other identifiers.

Data linked to you: If developers collect information that is linked to your device, account or identity. Apple says financial information, contact information, browsing history, purchases and browsing history might be part of this.

Data not linked to you: If developers do seek to collect information without linking it to your identity or account. This may be usage data or diagnostic data.

No data collected: The app will collect no data from the users.

No information available: Apple is yet to collect the information from the developer. The company is threatening action against developers who don’t comply with the new rules.

This is the latest update from Apple as it seeks to boost privacy protections across its platforms. Those running the latest versions of iOS 14 and macOS 11 Big Sur will start seeing the updated App Store listings from today onwards.

WhatsApp is among the developers railing against the new practice. It says: “we must collect some information to provide a reliable global communications service. As a matter of principle, we minimise the categories of data that we collect.”

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