Apple unveils new app store rules. The newly revealed new app store rules will stop developers from tracking users on the platform. That being said, the new rules will mean that developers now need a really good reason to collect user data.
Apple New App Store Rules
Tech company Apple has now laid down some new rules that will govern the use of APIs on its app store all in the name of preserving its users’ privacy.
The change in question simply means that developers will be required to provide a reason for making use of data-gathering APIs in their apps, which can easily determine the identity of a user based on a couple of information about their device as well as how it is being used.
This process in general is known as fingerprinting, and it is used in tracking a user across their online activity. Apple stated that it is aware of a small number of APIs that can be misused in this medium, which as you should know is prohibited under its Developer Program License Agreement.
Apple in an announcement on its developer website noted, “to prevent the misuse of these APIs, we announced at WWDC23 that developers will need to declare the reasons for using these APIs in their app’s privacy manifest.”
How the New Rules Will Affect Developers
Developers in question will now need to have a list of valid reasons to choose from which as you should know must correspond accurately to how effectively an API will be used in their app, which can only use the API for the stated reasons alone.
Starting from this Fall, developers will now receive an email asking for a valid reason once they have submitted their new app for approval from Apple or updated it through App Store Connect. And from Spring 2024, the reason in question will have to be included in the privacy manifest.
Rules for Developers
Apple also revealed to developers to contact the company in the event that their reason for making use of the API is not covered in the pre-approved list but is however still of benefit to the user. The list of APIs on the other hand that requires a reason can be seen here.
The new requirement in question as you should know follows in the footsteps of other security and privacy features that Apple has released as part of iOS 16, which reportedly came to market back in September 2022. Lockdown Mode was reportedly announced back in July 2022, and it is aimed at protecting prime targets from cyberattacks and was then used for the first time in April this year to spoil a spyware campaign.
Apple Safety Check
Another one you should know about is Safety Check, which lets users to block contact with those persons who may be a threat to them, and then turns off location tracking on their device.
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