Apple postpones new rules to limit tracking on children’s apps

Apple postpones new rules to limit tracking on children's apps

In recent months, Apple has been very strict with some apps for children that used third-party trackers, specifically with regard to data analysis and advertising. So much so that, last May, we commented that the company would limit the collection of information by this software and implement new rules on this issue – a move that did not please many developers.

It is worth remembering that it all started earlier this year, when Apple started to restrict (or even remove) certain apps that used iOS features to collect user data. After the initial controversy, the company announced new rules involving tracking and advertising of apps that were initially due to take effect next September, but now developers are likely to have more time to adjust to the new guidelines, as disclosed by The Washington Post.

According to Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing, Phil Schiller, the crackdown on some children’s apps distributed on the App Store occurred after the company received several complaints from parents and guardians:

Schiller said that parents were complaining to Apple about inappropriate advertising shown to their children while using iPhone apps: «Parents are really upset when it happens because they trust us.»

Despite the postponement of the implementation of the new rules, Apple notes that it is not moving away from the problem, but that it must act responsibly also towards developers, who may have their business affected by the changes.

Some developers have asked us to clarify the new rules, but we generally hear from them that there is broad support for what we are trying to do to protect the [privacidade] of children.

As we said, the changes could drastically affect some apps and, consequently, their developers. This is the case of Gerald Youngblood, creator of the Gaming Videos for Kids app. He told the Washington Post that Apple’s new rules may limit the display of ads in the app, impacting the decision to make the app free.

Tankee should not be confused with applications that are negligent and do not protect children. We think they [a Apple] were banning apps that ignore user privacy and aiming to steal children’s data. We were built with privacy as a base.

Youngblood’s argument is weak for one main reason: even under the new rules, application developers could still collect data from users – through Apple’s own analytics software.

That is, the decision would only affect third-party tracking services. However, with the postponement, it is unclear when these new restrictions will see the light of day – or whether they will in fact take effect.

via MacRumors