App Store developers must now limit the amount of permissions their apps request and commit to protecting personal data. Publishers must therefore complete a new questionnaire before publishing each application. If Apple realizes that a developer has not been honest in their responses, they risk penalties.
Apple has decided to strengthen the protection of the privacy of users of its ecosystem. It seems that the firm is thus seeking to comply as best as possible with the rules in force in Europe put in place by the GDPR – to set them up as worldwide standard. “Apple treats any data relating to an identified or identifiable individual or which is linked or can be crossed to be traced back to him as ‘personal data’ whatever his place of residence”, can we read in the explanatory text of the firm’s new personal data protection policy.
And Apple to continue: “This means that data that directly identifies you, such as your name, is personal data, but also data that does not directly identify you, but can be reasonably used to identify you, such as the serial number of your device, also constitute personal data ”. This new approach applies to all the services of the firm, as well as those issued by partners, such as Goldman Sachs (the bank that delivers the financial services of the firm, in particular the Apple Card).
Apple wants GDPR standards in Europe to become a global standard
For app developers from the App Store, the app store for iPhone, iPad, macs, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, it means a new constraint. The latter must now obligatorily fill out a questionnaire every time they publish their app or an update. This questionnaire, filled out on honor, is supposed to make it possible to understand why such and such an application requests such or such authorization. Apple will not verify the veracity of the answers a priori, but beware of those who play with the rules.
Because at the slightest signal, Apple teams will compare the app’s personal data behavior to app needs and developer’s responses in the questionnaire. In the event of error, the latter risk sanctions. We imagine, as is regularly the case during non-compliance with the rules of the App Store, that this can go as far as the withdrawal of the application and the suspension of the developer’s account. Apple encourages the US regulator to draw inspiration from these new rules to put in place a more protective framework in North America, as is already the case in Europe.
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Finally, the firm assures that it will also comply with these new rules, under the same conditions as the other developers of the platform, for all its official applications.