Apple’s new privacy feature is having the desired effect: it’s forcing Google to own up to its business practices. After delaying updates to several of its iOS/iPadOS apps, it’s finally doing so and submitting the App Privacy labels to meet Apple’s demands. Google has finally revealed the Gmail data that it collects on iPhones and iPads and how it uses it.
Apple’s New Data Privacy Feature
Apple made a change to iOS 14, requiring apps to reveal on the App Store what data it collects on its users. Rollout of the feature was delayed, but the transparency is finally starting to show up in the app listings at the App Store.
The most notable company to fight Apple’s demand was Facebook. The social network even went as far as to take out newspaper ads vilifying Apple for making this demand on data transparency.
Not only do developers have to admit what data they collect, but they also have to disclose their purposes for collecting it and how it will be used.
Apple appears to be banking on users not being aware of what their apps are collecting. But user data is a hot currency with developers. It’s very important to most app business models, with Facebook making that clear with its intense fight.
Google Forced to Comply
Google wasn’t as loud as Facebook in its protest – in fact, it said nothing. However, it still made it clear that it did not want to disclose such things as the Gamil data it collects.
Google delayed updating its iOS and iPadOS apps for a few months. It had been since December that apps that are regularly updated posted updates to the App Store.
With updates to apps like YouTube and Gmail, it appears Google is ending its silent strike. To no one’s surprise, the App Privacy labels on the App Store are showing that Google collects a lot of personal data from iPhone and iPad users.
Google has been forced to own up to the Gamil data it collects. The App Privacy label shows that it collects purchases, location, contact info, contacts, user content, search history, identifiers, usage data, diagnostics, and other data. Not only does it collect that Gmail data, it links it back to your identity.
Comparing the way data is used between Gmail and YouTube, it isn’t used the same from app to app. YouTube has more uses for the data. Notably, Google does not share YouTube or Gmail data with other companies, but it does use it to target users with specific ads.
So far, the App Privacy labels have been revealing with regard to Google. Whether it will be for smaller developers as a whole is unknown. But this could lead to an industry change, with no more hidden data policies.
Read up on whether Apple may be ending some dependence on Google with the possibility that it may be developing an alternative to Google Search.