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Apple makes it mandatory for all apps on the App Store to have a privacy policy

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To increase transparency on its platform, Apple has made it mandatory for all apps and app updates on the App Store to include their privacy policy starting from October 3. Apple has made this announcement in the form of a post on its Apple Store Connect platform for app developers.

Earlier, only apps that had subscriptions were required to have a privacy policy in place, but now, all apps will have to include a link to their privacy policy in the metadata of the app. Applications that are published after October 3 will have to include their privacy policy for approval.

As part of the privacy policy, app developers will be required to mention what data the app is gathering and how and where it is being used. The developer must also mention their data retention policies and the ways using which users can opt out or delete their personal data.

Existing apps that do not have a privacy policy will not be removed from the App Store, but they will be required to include it in the next update. This may allow apps that do not require an update to avoid adding this for the time being.

While this is a good initiative to improve transparency, it will be hard to enforce on all existing apps and depends on the user’s ability to read and understand the privacy policy. Most users ignore the terms and conditions mentioned in apps and just proceed without going through them to save time.

One of the reasons this is being enforced is due to the higher expectation of transparency from companies since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in the European Union earlier this year. Apple had earlier introduced new data privacy tools for iOS and macOS to comply with GDPR.

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