Apple Is Introducing ‘Privacy Labels’ That Will Indicate How Much Data Your Applications Collect

During the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company announced that Apple will now require all app developers to self-report their data collection practices in a bar for users to read. The bar should be easier to understand. The company already requires all iOS applications to include a privacy policy. But, the company now wants to make the practice easier to understand.

Apple wants all app developers to self-report their data collection practices in the same way FDA (Food and Drug Administration) nutrition face labels easily summarize the cholesterol, fat, and calories a particular food item contains. The director of the user privacy software at Apple, Erik Neuenschwander, stated during the WWDC 2020 keynote that the company thought that it would be great to have something similar to that of nutrition labels on packages foods for applications.

The new privacy labels introduced by the company will indicate the kind of information an iOS application required to collect including the financial data of a user, the location data, browsing history, and more.

According to the manager of the user privacy software at Apple, Katie Skinner, users will be able to view if an app developer is collecting a little bit of data on the user or a lot of information.

You can view these privacy labels from the product pages for applications across all the company’s application stores. The company has also announced that it is introducing this concept to Apple’s browser, Safari. A new icon will soon be added to the software, and this icon will provide users a privacy report about the site they are visiting and the tracking that takes place.

This icon will also indicate users that the Safari browser is blocking trackers from pulling the data of users. Apple will soon add the capability to control when a third-party Safari extension can collect information over the Safari browser or not. Options such as permitting the access for only one day, or a particular site, or for all sites will be available to users.

Apple is bringing similar safeguards to iOS for preventing intrusive monitoring. One of the changes Apple will soon introduce includes allowing applications to access only the approximate data location of users as opposed to the exact GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates.

The company also plans to force applications to ask permission before tracking the data footprint of users across other applications and sites. Lastly, Apple has announced that it will soon include an orange light icon to the status bar of iPhone devices.

The new orange light icon will allow users to know when a third-party application is using the microphone or camera of their smartphones to record. Apple will roll out the new set of features sometime this year, the company announced.

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