Google still hasn't updated its iOS apps, while pondering Android privacy controls

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in General Discussion
While it drags its feet on Google Mail and other crucial app updates in what appears to be a bid to delay disclosure of what it collects for user data, Google is rumored to be discussing new privacy features for Android that are inspired by Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature.

Google may implement new privacy features due to Apple's updates
Google may implement new privacy features due to Apple's updates


Apple will release a new feature called App Tracking Transparency (ATT) in iOS 14.5. It will require developers to notify users of cross-app tracking and give them the option to disable it.

Internal leakers told Bloomberg that Google is discussing implementing a similar, if less strict privacy control on Android. The move is said to be driven by a concern that privacy-conscious consumers may switch to Apple if they believe their data is at risk on Android.

The decision would conflict with Google's business model of collecting data for ad targeting. The company hopes to still collect enough data that won't harm its business or effectiveness of ad targeting.

"We're always looking for ways to work with developers to raise the bar on privacy while enabling a healthy, ad-supported app ecosystem," a Google spokesman said in a statement to Bloomberg.

Apple's move to surface tracking and educate users has caused controversy among ad companies. Google still hasn't updated most of its iOS apps since before Apple put into place a December deadline for disclosure of data sharing. Plus, Facebook is openly fighting Apple in the name of protecting small businesses.

Google's iOS apps release cycle before & after Apple asks to disclose privacy labels.

Thie pattern is probably just a coincidence. We all know "transparency forms the bedrock of [their] commitment to users"... pic.twitter.com/UgJjAhWfkm

-- Thomasbcn (@Thomasbcn)


Users are beginning to notice Google's hesitancy to update its apps. Apple implemented Privacy Labels in the App Store, and Google hasn't updated its primary apps -- which would require it to disclose what it does with user data.

Apps like Facebook and Instagram have several pages of data collection in their App Store Privacy Label. Google may be trying to avoid having such an extreme level of tracking when it updates its apps. Apple's push for privacy-focused features has spurred the industry to change, and Google seeking to implement new privacy features is an example of that.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    I’ve mentioned this in a couple of other articles. Every couple of weeks I’ve been checking Google Maps in the App Store, just so I can compare it to Apple Maps’ nutrition label. Mostly out of curiosity. I imagine when an update comes out it won’t have as much to disclose as the current iteration would. 

    Also, what happened to updates arriving in the next week back in early January? Did Google think nobody would be paying attention? Ha ha!

    It’s probably smarter for them to delay and make some changes than update and have to list anything like Facebook’s app shows. 
    williamlondonpulseimageslollivermagman1979elijahgtwokatmewwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 6
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,425member
    I’ve mentioned this in a couple of other articles. Every couple of weeks I’ve been checking Google Maps in the App Store, just so I can compare it to Apple Maps’ nutrition label. Mostly out of curiosity. I imagine when an update comes out it won’t have as much to disclose as the current iteration would. 

    Also, what happened to updates arriving in the next week back in early January? Did Google think nobody would be paying attention? Ha ha!

    It’s probably smarter for them to delay and make some changes than update and have to list anything like Facebook’s app shows. 
    Probably taking them this long to unwind the code that is required for Google Maps/Search/whatever to actually function from its entanglement with the tracking code.
    muthuk_vanalingamtwokatmew
  • Reply 3 of 6
    YouTube app has been updated a month ago and has nutrition labels. Seems it’s the only one. 
  • Reply 4 of 6
    As long as tons of these labels are still completely incorrect, I'm not worrying about Google's apps. They will be updated just like the others and will probably have unchecked labels as well.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 6
    But they have updated apps like Google Translate (last week).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 6
    Someone should check what kind of traffic goes through the  YouTube and maps app at the moment. And if the updates are out, do the check again. That way we will know what kind of changes has been made. 
    watto_cobra
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