Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp, earlier this week, expressed its displeasure over Cupertino-based giant Apple's new privacy labels for app listings on the App Store. According to a recent report in Axios, WhatsApp had argued that Apple's new policy is unfair as it doesn't cover Apple's own first-party services like iMessage that is not on the Apple App Store. Responding to WhatsApp's remarks, Apple has clarified that its own apps will also have similar labels when they roll out. Further, the company said that those apps that aren’t in the App Store, like iMessages, will provide privacy information in a similar format on Apple’s website.
WhatsApp reportedly submitted its privacy label information to Apple on Monday, and has published an FAQ outlining what each label means in terms of the service's data collection and why it needs the specific kinds of information. The Axios report quoted WhatsApp as saying that labels should be consistent across first and third party apps as well as reflect the strong measures that apps may take to protect people's private information. It is important to note that WhatsApp was not against Apple's new practice, but how it was deemed unfair since Apple's own services were not covered under the new policy. In fact, WhatsApp has even said that giving users easy-to-read privacy information is "a good start." WhatsApp, however, added that it is also important that people can compare there privacy labels from apps they dwnload with apps that come pre-installed.
Apple first announced the new privacy labels earlier this year during its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2020. Apple has said that its privacy labels will act as 'nutrition labels' seen on grocery items, which provide more information on what information an app or service is taking. As of December 8, developers are required to provide the information at the time of submitting a new app. It is not known as to when the new labels will start showing on the App Store.