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Privacy Policies Will Be Required for All Apps and Updates Beginning October 3rd

If you go to an app’s product page on any of Apple’s app stores, sometimes you’ll see a link to a privacy policy and sometimes you won’t. That’s because when iOS, macOS, or tvOS apps are submitted for beta testing or sale, developers have the option but aren’t required to link to a webpage with a privacy policy or, in the case of tvOS, include the policy directly in the app’s product page because the Apple TV doesn’t support web browsing. That will change soon.

As of October 3, 2018, any new app or update uploaded for beta testing or sale must include a privacy policy. Apple announced the change on its App Store Connect developer portal, which requires a developer account to access. Apple also noted in its announcement that a developer’s privacy policy link or text will only be editable when a developer submits a new version of their app for review.

Many app developers already provide privacy policies and are transparent about the information they collect from users and how they use it. I’m glad to see privacy policies become a requirement though because for some apps it’s not easy to track down how they use your data and there have been too many instances in the recent past where it’s been discovered that an app has used data in ways that users might not expect.

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