Apple Privacy UpdateMobile App Developers Take Notice Of New Apple Privacy Requirements

Mobile App Developers Take Notice Of New Apple Privacy Requirements

Companies that have, or are in the process of developing, mobile applications that are connected to the Apple Store should be aware of recent privacy updates and should take steps to prepare your business for these new privacy requirements in 2021. 

Apple’s Announcement

Beginning on December 8, 2020, Apple will impose specific requirements for the disclosure of privacy practices for all applications on the product page in the Apple Store.  This change will help users understand an app’s privacy practices before they download the app on any Apple platform.  The App Store product page will now feature a new privacy information section to help users understand an app’s privacy practices, such as data collection practices, the types of data collection, the data linked to the user, user tracking, and privacy links.  More details about Apple’s announcement can be found at the privacy details page and additional guidance on how to provide app privacy information can be found in Apple’s App Store Connect.

In addition to providing information about some of your app’s data collection practices on your product page, on iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14, apps will be required to receive user permission (opt-in consent) to track users across apps or websites owned by other companies or to access the device’s advertising identifier. This change allows users to choose whether they permit an app to track them or access their device’s advertising identifier.

Tracking refers to the act of linking user or device data collected from your app with user or device data collected from other companies’ apps, websites, or offline properties for targeted advertising or advertising measurement purposes.  Tracking also refers to sharing user or device data with data brokers.  To provide developers time to make necessary changes, apps will be required to obtain permission to track users starting early next year.  Additional guidance can be found at the Apple developer’s blog page.

What To Do Now

Businesses should take steps to make sure their current practices are legally compliant and address Apple’s new guidelines.

Now is an ideal time to work with your tech legal counsel to review your privacy policy and the App Store guidelines as well as applicable laws to confirm that the statements made throughout your policy are true and accurate representations of your data collection and sharing practices. Apps will need to create standardized privacy disclosures for the App Store to meet format and content requirements, but these responses should be carefully reviewed as not to conflict with any existing privacy statements.  Your internal business practices and collection protocols may change from time to time, which is why Beckage recommends an annual review of your privacy policy and related practices.  

Additionally, business should consult with their tech legal counsel to review and update consent language and disclosures for pop-up and any related consent forms that are utilized.  There may be specific regulatory or statutory requirements for obtaining consent through a mobile application that may need to be evaluated.  For example, although there are not currently opt-in requirements under the CCPA, there are specific requirements for consent under the GDPR and that may need to be met should the GDPR apply to your application.

Beckage lawyers have worked with numerous mobile app developers on privacy matters.   The Beckage team of lawyers is made up of technologists and certified privacy professionals who can help develop and review new and existing privacy policies to ensure compliance with Apple’s new privacy requirements. To reach a Beckage attorney, call 716.898.2102.

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Phone with lock on screen on a deskPrivacy Statements and Terms of Use – Low Cost Updates Can Provide High Impact Results

Privacy Statements and Terms of Use – Low Cost Updates Can Provide High Impact Results

If you have not noticed, most websites have Terms of Use and Privacy Statements. What is the difference between them, what do they mean, and why are they important?

In short, Terms of Use – also called Terms and Conditions or Terms and Conditions of Use – all explain the rights and responsibilities of parties using a company’s website. It typically addresses intellectual property rights and proper use of the website.

Privacy Statements – or Privacy Policies – help companies tell website users about the information the company collects from the user and how the company will use that information. This would include information the user enters into the site, or information that is automatically collected through the use of cookies or web beacons or other behavior tracking methods, which may provide information to the company or simply just assist with the user’s navigation and use of the website.

With the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in place, Privacy Statements are even more important now. Legal counsel should review these statements to ensure that they are accurate and legally compliant.  

Understanding the technology being used as part of the website development process is critical and companies may struggle in putting them together. The risks of not having an accurate site, however, are significant. While there are some common elements that may be included, the specific content included in privacy statements and terms of use will be unique to your business and website type.

Beckage is made up of former owners of a web development company, technologists, and lawyers certified as Certified Information Privacy Professionals, United States (CIPP/US), and have developed many privacy statements and terms of use. We are happy to help review your Privacy Statement and Terms of Use – a low cost project that delivers a high impact for your organization.

DISCLAIMER: This client advisory is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, and may not be used and relied upon as a substitute for legal advice regarding a specific issue or problem. Advice should be obtained from a qualified attorney or practitioner licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where that advice is sought.