Google may be skirting Apple’s privacy disclosures by not updating iOS apps

Google hasn’t up to date its iOS apps since early December whereas nonetheless holding its Android apps updated, in what might be an try and keep away from supplying data for the App Retailer’s privateness diet labels.

Google has not made any updates to its apps working on iOS from December 8 onwards. The model historical past listings for main apps similar to Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, and different companies all record their final updates as December 7, 2020 or earlier.

First noticed by Quick Firm on Tuesday and confirmed by AppleInsider, a consultant group of 15 well-liked apps from Google all present the final replace as occurring on or earlier than December 7. In some instances, like YouTube, the pre-December 7 replace was the final following an everyday replace schedule that was constant all through 2020, with the sample now damaged.

Whereas it could be possible to recommend the updates had been paused because of the holidays, it appears unlikely, as lots of the similar apps obtained Android updates. Gmail for Android was final up to date on December 16, whereas YouTube’s Google Play itemizing exhibits an replace from December 21.

Privateness Coverage Modifications?

The Quick Firm report notes that the mass December 7 Google app replace was the day earlier than Apple carried out a brand new coverage ordering builders to provide privacy-related details about their apps, which might be displayed throughout the App Retailer. These “diet labels” would inform customers of the sorts of information being collected by an app or a related third-party agency, if they’re used for monitoring functions, and an thought of how the info could also be used.

In keeping with Apple’s insurance policies, it’ll enable an app to stay within the App Retailer with out displaying this privacy-related data, however builders should present the main points in the event that they want to submit an replace.

On the time of publication, zero of the 15 chosen apps present any data beneath the App Privateness part of the App Retailer itemizing. As an alternative, the shop itemizing states there are “No Particulars Offered,” including that “The developer shall be required to offer privateness particulars after they submit their subsequent app replace.”

Because it stands, it seems that Google is gaming the system with its apps, by pushing a few of its updates to the final attainable second earlier than the brand new guidelines had been put in place. Doing so should buy it a while earlier than it’s compelled to take action by a wanted app replace.

Google has but to offer causes for the delay in updating the apps. AppleInsider has contacted Google for clarification on the matter.

The tactic of holding again on updates to keep away from offering the privacy-related data could stop Google from turning into the topic of criticism, because of the probably big quantity of information it continuously collects about its customers. The labels serve to tell customers of how their knowledge is being harvested and used, one thing that Google could not essentially wish to have revealed, even in a restricted style.

This concern hasn’t stopped different corporations from complying with Apple’s requirement. Social media big Fb has a considerable variety of objects showing in its Information Privateness itemizing, and it provides the data regardless of having an analogous public opinion as Google relating to knowledge harvesting and utilization.