Apple had recently implemented a new rule for new apps submitted to its App Store, and apps that are submitting updates. These rules state that apps will now have to include privacy labels, which basically states what kind of data an app collects and what kind of activity tracking it might also include.
The idea is rather simple – Apple wants apps to be more transparent and give users the option of choosing to avoid apps that they think are a bit invasive of their privacy. It sounded like a good idea, but it turns out that maybe the implementation process isn’t as smooth or as rigorously checked as Apple would have liked.
A report from The Washington Post has revealed that there are quite a number of apps that despite having privacy labels in place, are actually wrong or outright untrue. The report cites an app called Satisfying Slime Simulator, a de-stressing app, which claimed that it doesn’t share data with Facebook. However, an investigation revealed that it does.
The problem is that these labels are self-reported, meaning that it’s up to developers to be honest with their users. While Apple does claim to conduct audits, given how many apps there are in the App Store, it is easy to see why some apps can get away with misleading labels. Apple does warn that apps that don’t comply can be removed from the store, although how long it will take for developers to get caught is a different story.