Who cares if App Store privacy labels make apps look bad?

What you need to know

  • Apple’s new App Store privacy labels are here, and apps are as bad as we thought.
  • But who will care enough to act on the information they’re being shown?

Will anyone act on the information the labels give them?

Apple’s shiny new App Store privacy labels are here and we’re all checking the apps we use the most to see how they fare. One hugely popular app has already fallen foul to the new labels – Facebook. It will surely be no surprise to anyone that Zuck’s company is collecting data like a fishing trawler collects fish, but the new labels make it patently obvious to everyone.

But what will they do with that information?

It can surely be no surprise to anyone that Facebook is a bad actor at this point, and privacy labels in the App Store won’t change any opinions there. Especially when you remember that people likely already have it installed, so will never see the labels anyway. Your crazy neighbor isn’t going to stop posting 5G conspiracy theories to Facebook because the App Store says it’s bad, after all.

But not all apps are Facebook. Some will be collecting a ton of data and tracking users left and right without the clout of a Facebook or Google. It’s those apps that could be impacted here. And rightly so. Facebook isn’t going to change its business model overnight, but if Apple can push smaller apps, developers, and companies to play nicely – otherwise risk losing users – it will still be a win in the long run. Sometimes we have to take what we can get.

There’s little doubt that Apple’s intentions are in the right place and with Craig Federighi saying he wants Google to copy the App Store’s privacy focus, it’s perhaps clear this is more than a marketing thing – despite what the overly cynical might tell you.

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