If you’re not sure how all that information you share through apps installed on your iPhone is used, it will become much easier to tell.
As originally promised by the edition of iOS 14 earlier this year, Apple’s self-described “nutrition labels” for privacy are here. They aim to offer more transparency about what you share with other people. And it will be included with every app available for the iPhone.
Apple first announced plans to offer a buffet selection of privacy disclosures in this way when it previewed iOS 14 at its Global Software Conference in June. By November, Apple has confirmed that developers will have to provide the type of information they collect by December 8th.
The threat of possibly losing the ability to add updates to individual programs has been a boon for some developers to speed up the process, which brings users access to a litany of information per program, even outside of Apple’s ecosystem.
But what information is available now? You get three different categories to browse through each program: data used to track you, data linked to you, and data not linked to you. Basically you will find out what kind of data is being recorded that can be used to track you through the internet and on a daily basis, the data collected is compatible with you, and additional data is not matched to you but is still being collected.
You’ll find the privacy information included with app entries in the App Store app on your iOS device. The data appears to be about two-thirds of the App Store’s entry, among users and additional information about the app.
The tracked data can include everything from personal information, such as your name, address and other essential identifying information, to local data such as where you are when you use a program. This is all data used to better tailor advertising or meet other advertising metrics. Apple also applies the phrase “data tracking” here to include sharing device information with companies that end up selling it.
Data linked to you means everything that can be used to link you to a specific program and identify you. This includes information taken from a specific program that would allow a user to question that you, specifically, are a supporter of this program. Data not linked to you is a set of general data collected but not linked to you. This could include information such as browsing history or other information that is not necessarily related to what you are doing.
According to Apple, labels must remain up-to-date and accurate with each program update, and those rules apply to third parties and to Apple’s own programs. You can view the tags using the device you are currently using, as well as online, to make things easier.