Apple’s software chief wants competitors to copy its App Store privacy labels

Apple’s software chief, Craig Federighi, has spoken in an interview that Apple’s work on privacy is very important and the company would be ok if competitors copied its privacy-focused features.

Apple has been focusing on privacy-related features for a long time. With iOS 14, it has doubled down on what apps can and cannot do with regards to accessing user information. With iOS 14.3, the company rolled out privacy labels in the App Store, which show what data can apps access before users download them. Moving forward, Apple will also introduce App Tracking Transparency, which will show users a pop-up and ask for their consent before apps can track their information.

Apple software chief wants competitors to copy its privacy features

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, spoke about the privacy labels rollout with Fast Company. Calling the new additions as ambitious, he spoke about their importance in a time where privacy is of utmost importance. He also said that Apple will continue to build upon this work in the future. Craig also spoke about how he would like to see competitors, the only major one being Google Play Store, copy the privacy labels, to give users complete control over their privacy and let them know what to expect when they download an app.

“The work we’re doing here we view in the context of providing leadership to the industry, raising users’ expectations of what they should expect and demand in privacy. And we absolutely expect that others in the industry will respond to the heightened expectations and demands of customers and improve privacy—and we think that’s great.

This is one category where if they want to copy some of our best ideas toward improving user privacy—we embrace that”

Facebook and other companies with little regard for user privacy are already up in arms on this change, and have been publicly campaigning against Apple, and how its privacy changes will “affect small businesses”.

Apple has responded that this change does not require businesses to change their approach. The change is meant to give users a choice and provide transparency on what data are apps and websites accessing. Mozilla has also come out in support for App Tracking Transparency and thanked Apple for the change. Google has still been silent on this change and has not made any public statement, despite being the biggest digital advertising business in the world.

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