Google iOS apps to finally get App Store Privacy Labels this week

Apple’s new privacy rules for iOS, though by no means sudden or arbitrary, have been painted in a negative light by Facebook. In contrast, Google has actually been silent on the new cross-tracking limitations and requirements despite being a business that relies heavily on such systems. In fact, Google might have been too silent, some have insinuated, because it has also silently stopped updating its iOS apps since December to comply with the App Store’s new rules. Apparently, it was just a matter of clashing schedules and holidays.

Aside from the user tracking changes that Facebook has been whining about, Apple has also added a new policy that required developers to put privacy labels for each and every app on the App Store that discloses how user data is collected and tracked. Apple gave developers a December 8th, 2020 deadline to comply but one big app developer was prematurely accused of trying to skirt those rules.

Fast Company reported that none of Google’s iOS apps have been updated since the day before the App Store deadline. Updating the app would have required Google to add those privacy labels to get approved and the report suggests that it might have been the search giant’s way of circumventing the stronger privacy policy.

TechCrunch, however, calls out the report and points out that Google did update at least two apps after Apple’s deadline. Those apps, however, still don’t have the required privacy labels, suggesting that Apple may have given Google an extension.

More importantly, Google confirmed that it will be rolling out updates to its iOS apps with the necessary privacy labels as early as this week or perhaps next week. The reason for the absence of updates could have simply been the holidays, where Google tries not to make changes that could break apps and irk users during such times when even its own programmers are on vacation.

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