Google issues first YouTube for iOS update since Apple privacy rules went live

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in iOS
Google on Friday updated its YouTube app for iOS, the first such revision since Apple began to require disclosures from developers relating to user privacy and data handling.

YouTube


The latest version of YouTube includes bug fixes and performance improvements, according to release notes provided by Google.

A corresponding App Store page lists what data the title uses to track users, and specifies information that might be collected and linked to a user's identity. As noted by MacRumors, the privacy disclosure was added to YouTube's description in January per Apple's guidelines, though the app itself went untouched until today.

A number of Google apps have not been updated since Apple began to require the so-called privacy "nutrition labels" in early December. Those include Gmail, Chrome, Google Maps, Google Drive and the flagship Google app.

Apple's program is designed to offer users greater insight into how their data is leveraged by developers. Under the rules an app maker must divulge what data is being collected by either itself or a third party, and detail how that information might be used.

Similar to past App Store policies, apps are allowed to remain on the storefront without publishing the privacy labels, though the new rules will be enforced when updates are submitted. Some have speculated that Google was skirting the privacy disclosure by delaying the rollout of routine updates.

The search giant refuted those claims in January when it announced plans to update its iOS app suite in a couple of weeks, but that timeline was apparently overly optimistic.

Earlier this week, the Gmail app started to warn users that the current iOS version was out of date and did not include Google's latest security features. Google quickly updated its servers to remove the alert.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,342member
    AI readers would do themselves a favour to read -- and share on social media -- the "privacy label" for the YouTube app. Assuming its truthful and reasonably complete (which is a big assumption), it is still pretty eye-opening even to those of us who knew how invasive Google's services are, and may well shock those we know who have kept their heads buried in the sand about a lot of this.
    ioniclewilliamlondonmike54watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    chasm said:
    AI readers would do themselves a favour to read -- and share on social media -- the "privacy label" for the YouTube app. Assuming its truthful and reasonably complete (which is a big assumption), it is still pretty eye-opening even to those of us who knew how invasive Google's services are, and may well shock those we know who have kept their heads buried in the sand about a lot of this.


    Read it, oh dear.... its a cash generating app masquerading as free
    williamlondonmike54watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    ionicle said:
    chasm said:
    AI readers would do themselves a favour to read -- and share on social media -- the "privacy label" for the YouTube app. Assuming its truthful and reasonably complete (which is a big assumption), it is still pretty eye-opening even to those of us who knew how invasive Google's services are, and may well shock those we know who have kept their heads buried in the sand about a lot of this.


    Read it, oh dear.... its a cash generating app masquerading as free
    It's not really masquerading as free since it was the #1 subscription app in the App Store with YouTube Music following at #8.  It's a prime example that, generally speaking, most people outside of our little tech bubble don't really give a crap about privacy.  They want the convenience of "all the things".  If $5 or $10 a month plus some personal information is the cost... they want "all the things".   For us, privacy is important.  For the vast majority, privacy is something actively and intentionally surrendered on social media every day.  
    top grossing subscription apps us 2020
    kingofsomewherehotmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 14
    chasm said:
    AI readers would do themselves a favour to read -- and share on social media -- the "privacy label" for the YouTube app. Assuming its truthful and reasonably complete (which is a big assumption), it is still pretty eye-opening even to those of us who knew how invasive Google's services are, and may well shock those we know who have kept their heads buried in the sand about a lot of this.
    Just a passing thought: Are the delays to Google's updates on account of auditing the privacy (and maybe even removing some of the unimportant invasive/ surveillance features of the app.)
    I can see Google having concerns about the bad press of putting up a privacy label that turns out to be untrue or understated.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    Downloaded the app. No asking for permission comes up. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Downloaded the app. No asking for permission comes up. 
    are you running iOS 14.5?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,286member
    chasm said:
    AI readers would do themselves a favour to read -- and share on social media -- the "privacy label" for the YouTube app. Assuming its truthful and reasonably complete (which is a big assumption), it is still pretty eye-opening even to those of us who knew how invasive Google's services are, and may well shock those we know who have kept their heads buried in the sand about a lot of this.
    With particular regard to the section on third party privacy: ....

    When you find a YouTube Creator whose content you enjoy you may decide to follow them. Generally that means hit the"Subscribe" button. So what's the implication?

    That entails YOU choosing to voluntarily share your contact info with that 3rd party, the content creator, telling them who their new subscriber is. Google did not sell it to them, it was a user-initiated request to create a value relationship with the video provider beyond the general YouTube one. That provider will now know which of his/her videos you watched (browsing), what potential content of theirs you were looking for (search), where you are located, ie where their subscribers are coming from (location), and other connectable information you've now shared with that creator, of course taking into consideration what "about you" you've told Google you are willing to share. In my case it's the bare minimum, a name, a generic icon, and my gmail address. That's it, no address, no age, not even gender is revealed. You do have a choice in that regard, and if you don't know where simply look in your Google account settings. Click your user name/icon to be taken there.
    https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6304920?hl=en#zippy=,what-info-can-be-shown,where-this-info-can-show-up

    EDIT: And I'll modify my comment about subscribing after doing more research. Content providers can track a general category of users even if not by specific user or subscription. The analytics available to them include where their viewers also visit on Youtube, the age ranges, the course location, and other viewership metrics. For those interested in the details see here:
    https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/931441
    edited February 2021 Alex1N
  • Reply 8 of 14
    michelb76 said:
    Downloaded the app. No asking for permission comes up. 
    are you running iOS 14.5?
    Yes, I am. 
  • Reply 9 of 14
    What the...? The first YouTube update with nutrition labels came a month ago. 
    gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    ionicle said:
    chasm said:

    Read it, oh dear.... its a cash generating app masquerading as free
    I paid for the YouTube premium, but still being tracks. 

    I am wondering, if I use a VPN and login to my YouTube/google account. Will google still able to track all the things?


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    Downloaded the app. No asking for permission comes up. 
    Google is updating all their apps to comply with Apple App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy, so they don’t have to have a prompt. 

    Before the update, YouTube had settings to control what data and activity can be used to personalize ads within YouTube. On iOS devices, YouTube could use information, such as Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), for personalized advertisements and ad-related measurement. However, they announced on January 27, 2021, that YouTube and other Google apps will no longer be using this information. 

    Below is language from Google. 

    How we’re complying with ATT

    When Apple’s policy goes into effect, we will no longer use information (such as IDFA) that falls under ATT for the handful of our iOS apps that currently use it for advertising purposes. As such, we will not show the ATT prompt on those apps, in line with Apple’s guidance. We are working hard to understand and comply with Apple’s guidelines for all of our apps in the App Store. As our iOS apps are updated with new features or bug fixes, you’ll see updates to our app page listings that include the new App Privacy Details.

    gregoriusmAlex1Nbala1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 14
    huffcw said:
    Downloaded the app. No asking for permission comes up. 
    Google is updating all their apps to comply with Apple App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy, so they don’t have to have a prompt…

    … As our iOS apps are updated with new features or bug fixes, you’ll see updates to our app page listings that include the new App Privacy Details.
    Thanks!
    bala1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 14
    chasm said:
    AI readers would do themselves a favour to read -- and share on social media -- the "privacy label" for the YouTube app. Assuming its truthful and reasonably complete (which is a big assumption), it is still pretty eye-opening even to those of us who knew how invasive Google's services are, and may well shock those we know who have kept their heads buried in the sand about a lot of this.
    I agree they collect a lot, but Google is actually very transparent about their tracking and has a ton of info online about it (and long before the app privacy labels went into effect) -/ unlike some others out there that would prefer to keep their users in the dark. They also have pretty robust options for managing your data, removing it (even automating removal of data at certain intervals), and turning off certain tracking completely. 

    I am not saying Google insn’t generally invasive with data collection, just that they do have very solid transparency and provide a good set of tools for users to understand and control their data.


    gatorguyAlex1NCloudTalkinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 14
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,265member
    The labels for FB and Instagram are just as bad, if not worse. 
    watto_cobra
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