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Google Finally Adds App Privacy Labels to Gmail App

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Google today quietly added App Privacy labels to its Gmail app, marking the first of its major apps to receive the privacy details aside from YouTube.


Though App Privacy information has been added to Gmail, Google has done so server side and has yet to issue an update to the Gmail app. It has been two months since the Gmail app last saw an update.

Earlier in February, the Gmail app was displaying warnings about the app being out of date as it has been so long since new security features were added, but Google eliminated that messaging without pushing an update to the app.

Apple has been enforcing App Privacy labels since December, and Google has been slow to support the feature. Google said in early January that it would add privacy data to its app catalog "this week or next week," but by January 20, most apps still had not been updated with the App Privacy.

Google has since been adding App Privacy labels to apps like YouTube and some of its smaller apps, but of major apps like Google Search, Google Photos, and Google Maps, Gmail is the first to get the new labeling.

There is nothing hugely unexpected in the Gmail App Privacy data, with Google listing location, user ID, and usage data as information that's shared with third-party advertisers.Purchases, location, contact info, user content, search history, identifiers, and usage data are used for analytics purposes, product personalization, and app functionality.

Though most Google apps went months without an update and still have yet to be updated, apps like Google Translate, Google Tasks, YouTube Music, and YouTube TV have been updated with new content and bug fixes. These apps were quietly updated with App Privacy labels prior to when their content was updated, however.

Now that Gmail has App Privacy labels in place, we may soon see the information made available for other Google apps, and Google may resume the regular updates that were offered for iOS apps prior to when Apple implemented the new rules.

Article Link: Google Finally Adds App Privacy Labels to Gmail App
 
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SuperMatt

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2002
932
7,049


Google today quietly added App Privacy labels to its Gmail app, marking the first of its major apps to receive the privacy details aside from YouTube.


Though App Privacy information has been added to Gmail, Google has done so server side and has yet to issue an update to the Gmail app. It has been two months since the Gmail app last saw an update.

Earlier in February, the Gmail app was displaying warnings about the app being out of date as it has been so long since new security features were added, but Google eliminated that messaging without pushing an update to the app.

Apple has been enforcing App Privacy labels since December, and Google has been slow to support the feature. Google said in early January that it would add privacy data to its app catalog "this week or next week," but by January 20, most apps still had not been updated with the App Privacy.

Google has since been adding App Privacy labels to apps like YouTube and some of its smaller apps, but of major apps like Google Search, Google Photos, and Google Maps, Gmail is the first to get the new labeling.

There is nothing hugely unexpected in the Gmail App Privacy data, with Google listing location, user ID, and usage data as information that's shared with third-party advertisers.Purchases, location, contact info, user content, search history, identifiers, and usage data are used for analytics purposes, product personalization, and app functionality.

Though most Google apps went months without an update and still have yet to be updated, apps like Google Translate, Google Tasks, YouTube Music, and YouTube TV have been updated with new content and bug fixes. These apps were quietly updated with App Privacy labels prior to when their content was updated, however.

Now that Gmail has App Privacy labels in place, we may soon see the information made available for other Google apps, and Google may resume the regular updates that were offered for iOS apps prior to when Apple implemented the new rules.

Article Link: Google Finally Adds App Privacy Labels to Gmail App
Is there any category of data they don’t collect?
 
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hmark8

macrumors 6502
Jun 17, 2009
314
411
I wonder what they were afraid of since everyone already expects Google to collect and share any and all data they legally can. People will continue to shame them, but they also have world class products that are made possible because of that data collection, so don't see people jumping ship other than those who want blog posts views. This long wait for months only seems to have made things worse and more attention to it all rather than less.
 
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Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,552
2,062
Australia, Perth
Hmm. What’s “other data”. Sounds creepy.

We focus only on Google because its stands out more due to business practices.. yet we forget how many other developers are not doing the privacy labels...i could count at least 10 .

If this privacy label "nutrition" is gonna survive, Apple need a way to verity it all all times, in real-time only, not just when it suits them in "pockets"

Google is the top one who we should be scared off,but i'm more worried what other developers are capable off too.
 
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peneaux

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2020
122
161
About time. Isn't that pretty much all of the options selected? Looks pretty much like how I expected it to.

All the options! LOL

That's worse than my OnlyFans account! Only complains!
 
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Nicky G

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2002
933
826
Baltimore
Why an email app needs to be tracking your location is a bit beyond me. Oh yeah, Google hawks that data, which essentially means any third party can know where you are any time, and Google makes $$$ from it. Sketchy.

There needs to be gov regulation making this kind of thing totally illegal IMHO. No reason online ads tracking the location of Americans behind their backs should even be a thing, at all. We let this get way out of hand and it needs to be reigned in ENTIRELY. As in, made totally illegal. Location tracking should be tied to product features only, and should be totally anonymous from the developer's perspective. This garbage is ridiculous.
 
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jk1221

macrumors newbie
Feb 1, 2021
29
69
Age-old story. If you aren't paying you are the product. If you think Yahoo, Outlook.com, AOL, etc etc are any different then, well, LOL.

For email services in the US:
AOL had 19.8 million users
Outlook.com 34.6 million
Yahoo 42.2 million
Gmail 130.9 million.

That's over 1 free email service for every US adult over 18 (about 200 million). Likely 1 per every person old enough to use email.

iCloud only had 4.9 million active users.

And those numbers were all in 2016. It's way bigger now.

This is simply reality. And no, reality doesn't make it right, but it is what it is until someone changes the law (unlikely). Acting shocked is just silly by now.
 
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javisan

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2006
439
506
Chicago, IL
Some of these are still too vague. For example: Purchases. Purchases from where? Are they mining email to look for receipts? I suspect the answer is yes, but these labels need more granularity.
Fully agree, the labels are pointless as they are too vague. And when you click on Apple's link that includes definitions, it does not clarify much, if anything.

I've been wondering for a while what the "purchases" really mean. Could it also be that it tracks you outside of the app to see what purchases you make on other apps? through safari? on the app store? Without answers to these questions the label is worthless.
 
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randolorian

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2011
316
573
Fully agree, the labels are pointless as they are too vague. And when you click on Apple's link that includes definitions, it does not clarify much, if anything.

I've been wondering for a while what the "purchases" really mean. Could it also be that it tracks you outside of the app to see what purchases you make on other apps? through safari? on the app store? Without answer to these questions the label is worthless.
Maybe emailed receipts of purchases?
 
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jk1221

macrumors newbie
Feb 1, 2021
29
69
Why an email app needs to be tracking your location is a bit beyond me. Oh yeah, Google hawks that data, which essentially means any third party can know where you are any time, and Google makes $$$ from it. Sketchy.

There needs to be gov regulation making this kind of thing totally illegal IMHO. No reason online ads tracking the location of Americans behind their backs should even be a thing, at all. We let this get way out of hand and it needs to be reigned in ENTIRELY. As in, made totally illegal. Location tracking should be tied to product features only, and should be totally anonymous from the developer's perspective. This garbage is ridiculous.

You've never logged into Gmail and gotten a "was this you at this location signing in?" It could be as simple as that needing location to make sure that is you for that prompt from your IP address. As everyone is saying the labels are vague.

I have never heard of any allegation in all the years of the Gmail app that it was tracking the location of users constantly.

Further, the Gmail app doesn't even have location permissions in its app settings either and not listed in Location Services in iOS settings.

So it may be much ado about nothing. Some common sense must be used here before the pitchforks come out.
 
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