Apple Updates App Store Guidelines To Protect Kids

App store

Apple updated its App Store Review Guidelines this week at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Over the past year, Apple either removed or restricted apps that helped people limit the amount of time they and their children spent on Apple devices. This led to accusations of anticompetitive behaviour. The tech giant reversed its policy and in a blog post, it disclosed that the apps’ practices were allowed when news broke that federal officials were stepping up antitrust scrutiny of Apple and its peers.

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The post said parental-control apps could now use two technologies that Apple had recently cited as grounds for their removal from iPhones. Following the accusations of anticompetitive behavior, Apple changes direction for some parental-control apps in its App Store. It also limits third-party tracking.

Among the new updates, Apple revealed that apps designed for kids or in the "kids" category of the App Store can no longer "include third-party advertising or analytics software and may not transmit data to third parties." The update comes a week after The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple would limit third-party app tracking inside kids apps in the App Store.

Via: iMore

According to The New York Times, Apple's policy update also reverses a decision made in April to ban parental-control apps that use MDM software. These apps are now allowed but are restricted from selling, using or disclosing user data to third parties. The update to the App Store guidelines also comes the same day that news broke of a potential probe of Apple by the U.S. Department of Justice as part of a broader antitrust review of giant tech companies.

The new App Store rules apply immediately to new apps seeking entrance to the store. Existing apps will have to support the guidelines by Sept. 3, The New York Times reported. Expanding its data restrictions in the name of privacy control has been a growing priority for Apple. The company has also stressed privacy in many of its recent services, including the forthcoming Apple Arcade, Apple Card and Apple TV Plus. The new App Store guidelines also restrict apps that "facilitate purchase of ammunition," and they limit what can be done with data from VPN apps.

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