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Understand and Navigate App Store Privacy Labels

10th January 2021

Jacob Woolcock


Discover the significance of App Privacy labels on the App Store in this informative video. Learn how to navigate these labels to understand what data your favourite apps collect, empowering you to make informed decisions about the apps you use on your iPad and iPhone. From popular drawing apps like Procreate to essential tools like Zoom, gain insights into the data collection practices of various apps and how to use this information to safeguard your privacy.

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Let’s talk about App Privacy labels on the App Store, what they mean, and how you can use them. While you’re here, if you find this video helpful, please do like and subscribe down below. I’ve got loads more videos for iPad and iPhone on my channel, and I’d love to keep you up to date with what I’m doing.

From now on, any app that gets updated in the App Store needs to submit information about what data it collects on you, the user. So, if we go into the App Store on the iPad, and I’ve gone for the most popular apps at the moment, let’s jump onto Procreate. As you scroll down the page, you’ll notice a new section called “App Privacy”. Now, on the Procreate page, there’s a big message saying the app doesn’t collect any data about you. And that means that nothing you do is leaving your device, and the developer can’t see what you’re doing. This, of course, makes sense for a drawing app because they don’t really need to collect data on you.

But let’s try a different app where data is important. For example, Zoom. We’re all using Zoom at the moment, and obviously, you have to have an account to use Zoom. That means some data is immediately collected. But if we scroll down the app page, you’ll see more data collected as well. On here, you can see there are different categories of data that are collected, everything from your contact information to perhaps your location. And if you tap onto that card in the App Store, you can get more in-depth information from the app developer. On Zoom, you can see that some of that information is used for marketing and advertising, but the rest of it is used for analytics. Now, analytics are what the app will collect in case of a crash or a bug, and it can use that data to work out what’s gone wrong to fix it in a future update.

Now, a lot of apps will collect lots of different types of data, and the developer has to submit this themselves. It’s then checked by Apple for approval, so hopefully, it’s pretty reliable information, and you’ll see it popping up more and more on different apps on the iPad and the iPhone App Store. Here’s Netflix, for example, and again, you can see the data collected about you, and you get more information if you tap onto that card.

Of course, you can use this information to empower you to decide what apps you do and don’t want to use on your devices. Let’s have a look at an app that does collect quite a lot of data. Now, you can probably guess which one it’s going to be. And if we scroll down the Facebook page, you will see a lot of different data categories being collected by the app. Tap onto there, and again, you’ll get that in-depth list of what’s being collected and why. On this particular app, you can scroll for quite a long time to see all of that data that’s being collected about you.

This really does make it up to you to decide what apps you do and don’t want to use, and it is a great way of seeing what’s going on. I’m not here to tell you what the right app or the wrong app is; that’s the decision for you to make. But it does give you more information to empower that decision-making process.

The last thing to note is not all apps have this yet. If I jump back to the App Store home page and then choose “Teach Your Monster How to Read”, it will say the developer needs to submit information. That’s not because they’re deliberately avoiding it necessarily, but because they haven’t released an app update yet that includes that information.

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