At the start of 2020, we chastised Google for failing to update the vast majority of its iPhone and iPad apps on the App Store with the new privacy labels that became mandatory in mid-December. And even though Google keeps insisting that it’s not really attempting to take a stand against the new privacy feature from Apple, its recent actions suggest otherwise.
Google doesn’t like App Privacy
Here we are nearing the end of January, yet the search giant continues to drag its feet about whether to add the privacy labels to its popular apps or not. Having investigated the case, MacRumors has produced the following list of major iOS apps from the search giant that to this date do not show how user data is being managed and handled.
Google’s search app, Google Maps, Chrome, Waze, YouTube, Google Drive, Google Photos, Google Home, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Assistant, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, Google Slides, Google One, Google Earth, YouTube Music, Hangouts, Google Tasks, Google Meet, Google Pay, PhotoScan, Google Voice, Google News, Gboard, Google Podcasts and more do not display the App Privacy information.
Translate, Authenticator, Motion Stills, Play Movies and Classroom have been updated recently and now do show the required privacy information in App Store listings.
Shortly after the question of the missing privacy labels was raised earlier in January, the company told TechCrunch that it wasn’t trying to work around the new privacy feature.
Not taking a stand against the labels?
It also promised to add the App Store privacy information to all of its iOS apps “as soon as this week or the next.” Yet, here we are three weeks later and still no sight of the labels.
Apple on November 5 of last year invited developers to submit App Privacy details. The feature became mandatory for new apps or updates submitted beginning December 8, 2020. But by getting in all its existing apps’ updates on or before December 7, Google has managed to “avoid filling out a privacy label for any of their apps so far,” reported Fast Company.
Fast Company‘s Michael Grotaus first broke the story on January 5.
Some of the other major app developers were slow to add privacy labels to their respective App Store apps, including Facebook, Pinterest and Amazon. However, all of those apps have since filled out their respective App Privacy sections. Google isn’t one of them. And who can blame it—this is a company whose business model depends on invading user privacy in order to monetize people’s legitimate interests and secret desires with precisely-targeted ads.
And thanks to the App Store’s transparent App Privacy section, this is now all glaringly obvious.