Google to Begin Roll Out Privacy Labels for Its iOS Apps: Report

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Google has reportedly confirmed that it looks to start rolling out privacy labels for its suite of iOS apps on the App Store starting sometime this week or next. This comes after the tech giant was speculated to have slowed down its iOS app updates as it didn’t aim to comply with Apple’s privacy labels push that mandates developers to disclose information on what data is collected from App Store users. Google has denied all such speculations and said that it is looking to roll out privacy labels for its apps on the App Store soon.

With the latest move, the tech giant refutes all allegations of its aim to not comply with Apple’s new privacy label rule. A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch that it plans to add privacy labels across its iOS app catalogue. These labels will be rolled out this week or next. An exact date has not been disclosed.

The report goes on to add that executives at Google are attending meetings to discuss the app privacy labels, as their primary business is advertising. They are a cause for concern for the tech giant, but the company has no intention of not complying with the new rule.

A Fast Company report alleged that Google was not ready to disclose the data it collects from its users. The report claimed that not one single Google app had been updated since December 7, 2020 – a day before Apple’s new privacy label push came into effect.

However, TechCrunch cites Sensor Tower to report that two of Google’s apps – Google Slides and Socratic by Google – were both updated on December 14 and December 15, respectively. These updates do not include privacy labels, hinting that they may have been pre-approved before Apple’s deadline, but weren’t rolled out until later.

The report also adds that a slowdown of updates in December is normal due to the holiday period as the team is usually short-staffed. Even the App Store was closed from December 23 to December 27 for its annual break. Google will also reportedly go on a code freeze from late December to early January to avoid introducing any glitches while the staff is out on holiday.

Google is reportedly not the only major brand that hasn’t immediately adopted app privacy labels. Even mega apps like Amazon and Pinterest haven’t updated their listing with privacy labels. These delays doesn’t usually mean that the company doesn’t intend to comply with the rules, but they also could mean that they are being considered with more scrutiny than the others, given that data collection is an imperative part of its revenue system.


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