Many of Google's major iOS apps still do not show any sign of having Apple's required privacy labels.
In 2020, Apple announced during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that the company's iOS 14 update would have a new privacy feature that would give users more control over apps with tracking capabilities. In December of the same year, Apple informed developers, including Google and Facebook, with iOS apps to update their apps to include Privacy Nutrition Labels that disclose an app's data gathering processes. Apple set the deadline for such an update on December 8, however, a new report reveals that many of Google's major iOS apps still do not have the required privacy labels.
According to Apple, its Privacy Nutrition Labels feature three categories. These will inform the user of the app which data tracks them, the data that links to the user, and data that do not link to them. The purpose of these privacy labels is to increase user awareness and help identify dishonest app developers who attempt to steal or sell user information. Google is among those required to have these privacy labels but up to now, its major iOS apps still do not show any signs of already having them.
When Apple announced its privacy label plans last year, Facebook is among those who resisted the idea, saying it will negatively affect their advertising arm. The social media company then went on an ad campaign against the move of Apple, telling everyone that the Cupertino tech giant will kill small businesses that use Facebook as their advertising platform. In the end, Facebook cannot do anything but comply with Apple's required privacy labels. On the other hand, Google is yet to introduce such labels into many of their iOS apps.
Google appears to be having a hard time letting you know just HOW MUCH they track you.
If you use @gmail, check out @ProtonMail as a more private alternative.
There's Still No Sign of Privacy Labels for Most Google iOS Apps https://t.co/eTxp7kOalF — iTouchAppReviewers (@iTouchAppReview) January 21, 2021
Aside from Facebook, many other developers with iOS apps on Apple's App Store have complied and now include the required privacy labels in their apps. Google is one notable outlier, which until now, has yet to introduce privacy labels on the search engine giant's major iOS apps. Among the apps that do not have the labels include Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps.
Apps With And Without Privacy Labels
Some Google iOS apps do have Apple's required privacy labels, though not updated recently. These include Google Play Movies, Google Translate, Motion Stills, Google Classroom, and Google Authenticator. Google's search app, Waze, Google Photos, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Home, Google Sheets, and Google Earth. These are just some of the many Google iOS apps that still show no sign of having Apple's privacy labels.
Early in January, Google told TechCrunch, an online tech news outlet, that it would add Apple's required privacy labels to its iOS apps "this week or the next week." That promised period is long gone but until now, many of Google's major iOS apps still do not display, nor show any sign, of having the required privacy labels. The search engine giant did not provide any explanation on why this is so and no one knows if it will include the labels soon.