In October, the company introduced more ad slots on the App Store’s “Today” tab and the “You Might Also Like” as an opportunity for developers to market their apps in more places and enhance their reach.
However, immediately after the launch of new ad slots, developers strongly objected to App Store advertising gambling apps in their App Store listings. A few prominent developers like Simon Stovring and Macro Arment said that it was not okay for the tech giant to take money from gambling apps.
Apple receives users’ App Store data in real-time, raising privacy concerns
As per Mysk’s thread posted on Twitter, iOS sends data of users’ every tap in the App Store to Apple in real-time via a JSON file even when “sharing analytics and personalized recommendations are switched off.”
Apple is a strong advocate of protecting users’ privacy and calls it a “fundamental human right“. To prevent invasive tracking, the company introduced the App Tracking Transparency feature on iOS 14.5 which mandates apps to seek users’ permission before tracking their online activity through third-party apps and websites.
Therefore, the discovery of Apple’s tracking users’ App Store activity without their consent and knowledge raises several privacy concerns.
The level of details shown in the video is also too much even if the user has consented to sharing analytics data with Apple. As the title of John Gruber’s post reads: App Store Ads Gone Wild.
The researchers used an iOS device running on iOS 14.6 for the test and they believe that iOS 16 sends similar data to the company, “every tap and impression you make in the app and every app you view in the store”. It is possible that the company might be making more compromises to further grow App Store revenue.