After Facebook, now WhatsApp has begun to protest against Apple’s privacy-first measures. What went wrong? Let’s find out.
A new upcoming feature to the Apple app store called ‘privacy label’ requires app owners to submit information about the data they collect from users and WhatsApp is not at all thrilled about it.
According to the Facebook-owned instant messaging giant the iPhone maker’s provision is anti-competitive in nature as Apple’s very own encrypted messaging service – iMessage is pre-installed on all iPhone devices and doesn’t require to be downloaded from the app store where the privacy labels are going to be implemented.
A WhatsApp spokesperson, in a statement about the same, mentioned that if labels are to be implemented on the Apple app store to then it should be consistent across all first and third-party apps and also display the strong measures apps may take to protect their user’s private information.
He further said that while beginning to display simplified and easy to read information about user privacy is a good start, they (WhatsApp) believe it is equally important for users to compare that bite-sized information from apps they download and apps that come pre-installed like the iMessage.
The new concept of privacy labels was first introduced by Apple at their worldwide developer conference in June wherein they declared that app developers need to mandatorily submit information detailing exactly what types of data they collect from their users starting from January 2021.
Apple’s motive behind this move, besides further promoting their pro-privacy stance, is to present a streamlined view of different types of user data apps pull from their users. The privacy labels will classify each one of them in broad-base categories such as ‘user content’, ‘financial information’ and so on.
Now, it is quite obvious that WhatsApp is scared of what their privacy labels might reveal about the kinds of data they are collecting and if it might give a competitive advantage to iPhone users to stick to iMessage itself.
WhatsApp, post submitting the required information to Apple on Monday, in a blog post, explained in detail what data they collect and how it might be portrayed by Apple in their privacy labels.
The Facebook-owned instant messaging app seemed to repeatedly over-emphasis that the labels are quite basic and broad and do not do justice to the lengths at which the company goes to safeguard sensitive information about their users.
“Our teams have submitted our privacy labels to Apple but Apple’s template does not shed light on the lengths apps may go to protect sensitive information,” said the WhatsApp spokesperson
All in all, as mentioned earlier, the privacy labels are simply a part of a broader push to position Apple as one of the biggest privacy champions in the tech space.
It all started with their latest iOS 14 system update which arrived in September and quickly managed to attract a lot of criticism from WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook aka one of the biggest privacy invaders in the tech space.
Apple, without any prior discussion with Facebook, went ahead and declared that users will need to manually opt-in for letting various advertisers like Facebook to capture their IDFA (a random device identifier assigned by Apple to a user’s device). However, later, said that the rollout to IDFA changes will be delayed until the next year.
Currently, it is unclear when the nutrition labels will begin to show in Apple’s app store, but nonetheless, it has surely shaken up all app owners big and small alike.
Do you think this new feature will give users a peek behind what exactly the tech giants are up to with data collection? Let us know in the comments down below. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.