New Privacy Requirements for App Developers Using the Apple App Store

New Privacy Requirements for App Developers Using the Apple App Store

Dec 03, 2020

Client Alert

Brownstein Client Alert, December 3, 2020

Companies face yet another set of data privacy requirements in this ever-growing legal minefield. Starting Dec. 8, 2020, companies using apps in the Apple iOS ecosystem will be required to provide consumers with a privacy “nutrition label” to help consumers understand an app’s privacy practices before the consumer downloads the app.

This requirement affects both new app developers and existing app developers when updating an existing app. The new disclosures introduce some new potential pitfalls and liability exposure, especially where disclosures differ from privacy policies elsewhere.

Generally speaking, companies will need to explain to consumers—before the consumers download the app—what data is being collected through the app and how it is being used. After the effective date, Apple will put in place a new step in their process for updating an app, or submitting a new app, requiring the submitter to answer a questionnaire that Apple will map to a privacy “nutrition label,” designed to disclose to a consumer what the app is doing with the consumer’s information. In answering the questionnaire, app developers should keep in mind the following:

  • Make sure as you grow and update your app that your responses are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Be overinclusive rather than underinclusive. Identify all possible data you collect and use, even if the data is collected or used in limited situations. A failure to fully disclose relevant data collection could lead to allegations that the failure to disclose constitutes a deceptive trade practice.
  • Because consumers will see your privacy “nutrition label” before they download the app, you should make sure to adequately explain any data uses that do not intuitively align with your app’s stated purpose, or else a consumer may be dissuaded from downloading your app.
  • Ensure your disclosures are synced with the disclosures in your privacy policies because you will be required to provide a link to your privacy policy page on your product page in the app store.

We will continue monitoring these developments and are available to counsel companies seeking to comply and keep up with the rapidly changing data privacy requirements. You can find more information about Apple’s new privacy requirements here.

This document is intended to provide you with general information regarding new Apple App Store privacy for app developers. The contents of this document are not intended to provide specific legal advice. If you have any questions about the contents of this document or if you need legal advice as to an issue, please contact the attorneys listed or your regular Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP attorney. This communication may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions.

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