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Beginning today, October 3, Apple announce it will no longer allow developers who do not include a link to their privacy policy in the metadata for their app on its platform. This is according to the company new policy contained in the App Store Review 5.1.1 Data Collection and Storage.

Apple disclosed this on their developer platform, revealing the new policy will be required for all apps and updates on the App Store, also noting that no app currently in the store will be removed but will be needing a privacy policy if developers need to upgrade. This is also coming days after Google announced it will be marking sites without SSL Certificates as unsecure, noting cogent reasons why developers must Get One.

What this means?
Moving forward developers must clearly specify what data it means to collect and state in clear terms what it is been used for, and in like manner, confirm that its clients and third party with whom data will be shared with can provide equal protection of users data. The new policy obligate app developers to explain how it stores and disposes user data, further describing how users can revoke consent or request deletion of their data. Also, Apple will be tasking app developers to make their privacy policy easily accessible by users.

What does this mean for User & Apple?
In the wake of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica debacle, tech companies have been making effort to protect users and likewise themselves from any infamy that may be as a result of data breach

With this change we commend Apple, although the company is yet to disclose if it will be reviewing and using the privacy policy clauses of apps to decide what app get featured in the App Store eventually. As users fear and wonder how Apple intend to manage the review of tens of millions of apps in time, they can only hope this would not mean missing out on some of their very handy apps.

Evidently, Apple has made some audacious move against some developers in time past, notably, with the removal of some popular Iranian apps sometime in August of 2017, and recently with the removal of the Facebook Onavo app, as well as over 25,000 app from the China App Store this year. With these precedence, user and tech community perceive a clamp down on defaulting developers may occur with time.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook early this year stated that the company carefully reviews every app and police now, and do not subscribe to the view of letting everybody in as a show off for free speech.

This will definitely not be the end of such strong stance by Apple.

Moving on!
As users hope tech companies will do well to protect its data and regulatory agencies press onto making these companies comply with set guidelines, there are some few step users can imbibe to safeguard themselves.

Some quick tips:
  • Always update your apps as soon as you are notified to do so. Most updates come with security patches that closes every loophole in your app.
  • set up two-factor authentication. Most apps now offer this service.
  • Always check for the https in the address bar of webpages. This offers an extra layer of security.
  • Understand the permission an app seeks. If overwhelmed with so much app, to keep up, use my permission to control what an app can access.
  • Restore devices to factory setting before giving away.
  • Always take care of privacy setting immediately on setup.



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