Report reveals that more than half of the app labels in the Apple app store are delusive

Apple made its app store privacy "nutrition labels" live in December of 2020. Apple made this action in order to help their users understand the privacy of the app they wish to install from an Apple platform. It was done so that the users can know about the type of data that the specific app would be taking from them and not the type of data which might be used in to tracking the user and their activities. This action was made by Apple to protect more of their users’ privacy. Apple also made it compulsory for the app developers to submit their apps or make updates in their current ones to Apple first so that it may check the type of data each app would be requiring from their users and then warn them accordingly.

However it has been reported from the recent spot checks by Washington Post which found that almost more than half of the apps have been wrongly reviewed. Some of the app are entirely delusive or are false. The Washington Post did not mention about how many apps were checked but they did report that 1 in every 3 apps are not accurately using the nutrition labels. These apps include games like Match 3D, social network Rumble and PBS kids video. During the spot checks by Washington Post these apps were falsely declaring that they do not track any data from the users. However the developers of these games have made some changes now.

All of this started when Geoffrey Fowler, the tech columnist installed a de-stressing game called the Satisfying Slime Stimulator which actually has gotten App Store’s highest level label for privacy. It however turned out to be sending out information that can be involved into tracking a phone to Facebook, Google and other huge level companies and that too secretly. Apple still hasn’t changed the label for Satisfying Slime game that risks the privacy of their users to such an extent. Geoffrey Fowler then made spot checks on more than a dozen apps that were being falsely claimed to not track any data and most of these apps were entirely inaccurate and misleading.

On detailed page of every app label apple has mentioned in a tiny print that the information has not been verified by it, but Fowler believes that if Apple claims that their user’s privacy is their first priority then mentioning this should not be a good enough excuse for them. Having invested billions of dollars in their App Store last year, it should be Apple’s responsibility equally into checking each app carefully and not completely depend on the developers to be honest.

Fowler also believes that these app labels are not entirely helpful as the user doesn’t get to know where all their data lands.


Photo: ymgerman via Getty Images

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