Technology

Apple to show more data usage indicators on the App Store

The UK's competition watchdog has hailed the decision as a victory for consumer choice.

Apple is to roll out new personal data usage indicators to its App Store following pressure from regulators, including the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The technology giant will shortly apply new features to its App Store which will show users what personal data each app accesses and uses.

The CMA, as part of an international group of 27 watchdogs known as the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), had urged Apple to make the change, arguing it would empower consumer choice and improve the clarity of information around personal data use.

The UK competition watchdog said it had taken a leading role in the international effort alongside its Dutch and Norwegian counterparts.

Apple first announced the new feature at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June, saying a new section would be added to each app’s product page containing key information about the data an app collects and an accessible version of the main points of its privacy policy.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple released the iPhone 12 earlier this year (Apple)

The CMA says this announcement was made after an ICPEN intervention on the issue.

At the time, Apple said the new tool would help create a “transparent overview of an app’s privacy practices” that was “key to building trust with potential users”.

The CMA said ICPEN was also in discussions with Google about how privacy information is displayed on its own Google Play app store.

The announcement comes on the same day the CMA published its advice to the Government on the design of a new regulatory regime for digital markets in the UK, with the Government committing to establishing a Digital Markets Unit within the CMA in April next year.

The proposals include a legally binding code of conduct and other measures aimed at reining in the market dominance of tech giants such as Facebook and Google, as well as Apple.

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