Apple Softens App Store Guidelines Related to Third-Party Ads in Kids Apps and 'Sign in With Apple'

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Apple today updated its App Store Review Guidelines with changes to third-party advertising and analytics in kids apps, as well as additional criteria for when apps are required to use Sign in with Apple.


Kids apps

The guidelines now state that, in limited cases, third-party analytics may be permitted in kids apps provided that the services do not collect or transmit any identifiable information about children, such as their name, date of birth, email address, location, or unique device identifier.

Apple says third-party advertising may also be permitted in limited cases, provided that the services have publicly documented practices and policies for kids apps, including human review of ad creatives for age appropriateness.

Apple had previously implied that no third-party ads or analytics would be permitted in kids apps whatsoever, but several developers of kids apps expressed concerns that this would harm their business models, leading Apple to delay the requirements and make the changes announced today.

Moreover, apps in the App Store's Kids category or those that collect, transmit, or have the capability to share personal information from a minor must include a privacy policy and must comply with all applicable children's privacy statutes, such as the U.S.'s Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

Newly submitted kids apps must follow these guidelines immediately, while existing apps will have until March 3, 2020 to be fully compliant, according to Apple.

"As we got closer to implementation we spent more time with developers, analytics companies and advertising companies," Apple's marketing and App Store chief Phil Schiller told TechCrunch. "Some of them are really forward thinking and have good ideas and are trying to be leaders in this space too."

'Sign in with Apple' criteria

Meanwhile, as previously announced, apps that exclusively use a third-party or social login service such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, or WeChat to set up or authenticate a user's primary account within the app must also offer Sign in with Apple as an equivalent option.


However, Apple has now clarified that Sign in with Apple is not required if:
- Your app exclusively uses your company's own account setup and sign-in systems.
- Your app is an education, enterprise, or business app that requires the user to sign in with an existing education or enterprise account.
- Your app uses a government or industry-backed citizen identification system or electronic ID to authenticate users.
- Your app is a client for a specific third-party service and users are required to sign in to their mail, social media, or other third-party account directly to access their content.
Starting today, new apps submitted to the App Store must follow these guidelines for Sign in with Apple. Existing apps must follow them by April 2020.

Article Link: Apple Softens App Store Guidelines Related to Third-Party Ads in Kids Apps and 'Sign in With Apple'
 

Appleman3546

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May 13, 2019
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A win for consumers, a deaf pounding blow to developers forced to use Apple sign in (who have no alternative to distribute their app on iOS). I guess Apple wants developers to offer websites only instead of encouraging apps to be on the App Store
 

Saipher

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GeoStructural

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Apple is no better than any other company in privacy matters. The only reason they do not track you more is because they are not in the business as other companies are (Google, Amazon, etc.). Apple left the ad business a few years ago.

Their privacy speech falls every time they get caught doing what any other company does and apologize for it. They are also no more secure than any other server anywhere.

iCloud relies on Amazon servers. They also collect your Maps usage, just that they ignore the departure and arrival point... which is pretty much the same anyway. You also usually set your Home and Work address... so???

They used to justify Siri's stupidity by the fact that everything stays in the iPhone and Siri didn't learn from you. This was proven to be a lie a few weeks ago.

Go to your settings app and see your "ad profile", I was astonished to see how much Apple collects and knows about me. You are given the option to delete the profile tho, but they will create it again as long as you keep using your phone, which you will.
 

magiic

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I wonder if this will encourage GetAround to drop their mandatory "sign in with Facebook". I still blows my mind the only sign-up option they have is with Facebook.
 
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AdonisSMU

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They're the same for privacy, one just charges more while lying about it.
People keep saying that but the data says otherwise. The bottom line is Android is a tracking device. That's what it was designed to do.

Comparable Android and iPhones are the difference of $100 in cost. Considering that when you are doing using an iPhone you can sell it later or return it to the Apple Store for Store credit, it should cost more money. If I return my iPhone XS Max Apple will credit me with $600 and I can use it to purchase the new iPhone 11 Pro for $400 bucks. That's a good deal and if I want just an iPhone then the price for that is like $100-$200 bucks. I'd say that's a pretty good deal. you are basically paying $100-400 per year for the upgrade.
 

Saipher

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They're the same for privacy, one just charges more while lying about it.
There is a huge difference between data being mined due to bugs/exploits that when found are patched, then it being your business model. I’m pretty sure we all know where Apple and Google falls.

Again, you are welcome to another mobile OS you deem more privacy oriented. Lol good luck with that...
 

Pakaku

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Apple had previously implied that no third-party ads or analytics would be permitted in kids apps whatsoever, but several developers of kids apps expressed concerns that this would harm their business models, leading Apple to delay the requirements and make the changes announced today.
Well, now that I know Apple isn't so keen on privacy at this point, I'm not so keen on the idea of downloading and using these apps at all. So much for not harming their business model...
 

Khedron

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Sep 27, 2013
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Sign in with Apple seems much more a of an "automatic account/password generator" than anything to do with privacy.

This feature only keeps your real email address private right? All other tracking methods to connect your account to previous data and profile you still works?
 

ipedro

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A win for consumers, a deaf pounding blow to developers forced to use Apple sign in (who have no alternative to distribute their app on iOS). I guess Apple wants developers to offer websites only instead of encouraging apps to be on the App Store
huh? Might you not be exaggerating just a bit? It’s a piece of code that they have to include. Developers add most likely already using code from Facebook for the same purpose. “Deaf pounding blow”? eyeroll.gif
[doublepost=1568305561][/doublepost]
Sign in with Apple seems much more a of an "automatic account/password generator" than anything to do with privacy.

This feature only keeps your real email address private right? All other tracking methods to connect your account to previous data and profile you still works?
It keeps your account isolated on that one site or app rather than following you across the internet. Since your real address is no longer revealed, and Apple employs other randomization techniques to prevent you from being tracked elsewhere, you can’t be profiled beyond the site you agreed to sign up for.
 

apolloa

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Oct 21, 2008
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Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Apple is no better than any other company in privacy matters. The only reason they do not track you more is because they are not in the business as other companies are (Google, Amazon, etc.). Apple left the ad business a few years ago.

Their privacy speech falls every time they get caught doing what any other company does and apologize for it. They are also no more secure than any other server anywhere.

iCloud relies on Amazon servers. They also collect your Maps usage, just that they ignore the departure and arrival point... which is pretty much the same anyway. You also usually set your Home and Work address... so???

They used to justify Siri's stupidity by the fact that everything stays in the iPhone and Siri didn't learn from you. This was proven to be a lie a few weeks ago.

Go to your settings app and see your "ad profile", I was astonished to see how much Apple collects and knows about me. You are given the option to delete the profile tho, but they will create it again as long as you keep using your phone, which you will.
Totally agree but.. in a way Apple has been less secure then Google or Amazon as both of them have allowed you to opt out of their AI assistants tracking you, Apple is yet to introduce this desire after it was caught again doing something it tends to promote it isn’t.

I’m also a bit concerned about all that health data they are collecting about you! Let’s hope it remains secure.
 

Khedron

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Sep 27, 2013
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huh? Might you not be exaggerating just a bit? It’s a piece of code that they have to include. Developers add most likely already using code from Facebook for the same purpose. “Deaf pounding blow”? eyeroll.gif
[doublepost=1568305561][/doublepost]

It keeps your account isolated on that one site or app rather than following you across the internet. Since your real address is no longer revealed, and Apple employs other randomization techniques to prevent you from being tracked elsewhere, you can’t be profiled beyond the site you agreed to sign up for.
But the second you give it some personal information like a delivery address then it's all over anyway as far as being anonymous. I don't know any apps where I would personally use this feature - either I trust an app enough to have an account with them, or I don't use them at all.
 

diego

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The key to privacy is to use as few apps as possible - only for the most crucial things you need on a phone, and have other dedicated systems for things like games, etc. Do we really need a dedicated app for every airline or every brand of fast food on our phone? Is it that useful? I think simply limiting our app use is key. Concerned about children's privacy on a phone? Well, get them a Nintendo Switch so that they can play games and not on a phone with 3 cameras, microphones, and unlimited internet access.
 

Robert.Walter

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Jul 10, 2012
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Really disappointed Apple caved on this point:

“Sign in with Apple is not required if:- Your app exclusively uses your company's own account setup and sign-in systems.”
 

Sasparilla

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Jul 6, 2012
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One step forward, two steps back.

I love the explanation that the proposed changes would harm the existing business model of the folks that data mine kids apps (apparently). Well yeah. They need to come up with a new model that isn't exploiting their users. But that isn't impossible, just requires effort.

Wasn't expecting to see Apple cave on this. If they can't stand up for kids, what will they actually stand up for?

Really disappointed Apple caved on this point: “Sign in with Apple is not required if:- Your app exclusively uses your company's own account setup and sign-in systems.”
I didn't think this was a cave actually. I was thinking Apple Sign In just had to be there if there was another general sign in option available (Google, Facebook etc.), doing their own login by itself was fine.
 
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calzon65

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When I comes to apps that focus on children, I don't think Apple should soften any standards.
 

pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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This is a catch-22.
People like free stuff, and for developers to be able to offer their apps for free, they must rely on ads, and those companies use running the ads would want those analytics.

Everybody is at fault here, at the expense of our own children.
Parents want free apps, simply because it’s consumer behavior. Even if the developers offer paid version with no tracking, I’m pretty sure majority will opt for the free version win ads.
Many apps are outsourced to programming houses in India or China, coded with people who may not have the same concept of privacy as a typical westerner.
And hen there’s Apple, who are stuck in between.
 
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