App Store ‘must now be transparent about personal data’

Following an intervention by international authorities, Apple will now indicate on its App Store what personal data each app uses.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), alongside the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets and the Norwegian Consumer Authority, took a lead role in the international effort to improve information available on the use of personal data by applications on Apple’s App Store.

The success follows ongoing work from the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), involving 27 of its consumer authority members across the world, including the CMA.

Authorities became concerned that people were not being given clear information on how their personal data would be used before choosing an app, including on whether the app developer would share their personal data with a third party.

The CMA has said without this information, consumers are unable to compare and choose apps based on how they use personal data.

After the intervention by the 27 ICPEN members, Apple announced a new section to each app’s product page in its App Store, containing key information about the data the app collects and an accessible summary of the most important information from the privacy policy.

Apple customers will now more easily be able to consider privacy issues when choosing whether or not to buy and download an app.

The changes will come into effect for consumers shortly.

According to the CMA ICPEN members are also in discussions with Google about privacy information on its App Store.

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