Regulator claim success in bid to get Apple to open up on apps’ use of data

Written by Sam Trendall on 9 December 2020 in News
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App Store will now feature more privacy information following campaign by CMA

Credit: Pixabay

The UK Competition and Markets Authority has claimed success in its efforts to compel Apple to include more information in its App Store about how users’ personal data is collected and used.

The CMA claimed that, alongside watchdogs from the Netherlands and Norway, it led an intervention on behalf of the 27 members of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network designed “to improve information available on the use of personal data” by iPhone apps.

Following this intervention, the smartphone manufacturer announced this summer that it would include a new section on the product page of apps. The CMA claims that this will include “key information about the data the app collects and an accessible summary of the most important information from the privacy policy”.

“The changes secured by the CMA and its international partner agencies mean that people can more easily consider privacy issues when choosing whether or not to buy and download an app,” the CMA said. “These changes will come into effect for consumers shortly.”


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The authority claimed that the intervention was prompted by concerns held by regulators “that people were not being given clear information on how their personal data would be used before choosing an app – including on whether the app developer would share their personal data with a third party”.

“Without this information, consumers are unable to compare and choose apps based on how they use personal data,” the CMA added.

According to the regulator, IPCEN member organisations are now holding “discussions with Google about privacy information” that is featured on the Android app store.

“Safeguarding people’s control over their data is important for protecting privacy as well as for the healthy operation of the market,” it said. “The CMA’s market study into online platforms and digital advertising advocated a competitive-neutral approach to implementing privacy regulation, so that the big platforms are not able to exploit privacy regulation to their advantage. The CMA will be working with the Information Commissioner’s Office and with the communications regulator Ofcom further to address privacy and consumer protection issues through the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum.”

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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