Apple rolls out privacy ‘nutrition labels’ on apps

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In a big push toward data transparency, Apple (AAPL) will now display a summary of an app’s privacy practices before a user downloads it from the App Store.

The company began rolling out new labels on Monday that will explain what kind of user data is collected and shared for each app, from financial and location information to browsing and purchase history. Labels will be added to more apps in the days ahead.

Teased at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference in June, Apple (AAPL) likened the feature to a nutrition label. “For food, we have nutrition labels. You can see if it’s packed with protein, loaded with sugar or maybe both — all before you buy it,” said Erik Neuenschwander, director of user privacy, at the time. “So we thought it would be great to have something similar for apps.”

Developers were previously required to have a privacy policy and link it to their App Store product page, but the new labels will package them into a more digestible, visual format. They’ll be displayed near reviews and details about in-app purchases.

The label itself features three main sections: “data used to track you,” such as information collected for advertising purposes; “data linked to you,” or the data tied to a user’s identity through their account on the app, device, or other details; and “data not linked to you,” which is data collected but not linked to an account.

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