Google Finally Discusses iOS 14 App Store Changes

In a post aimed at its advertising customers, Google explains how Apple’s new app store privacy requirements will impact their businesses. And the firm finally addresses how it plans to handle the changes in its own apps.

“Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy will require developers to ask for permission when they use certain information from other companies’ apps and websites for advertising purposes, even if they already have user consent,” Google’s Christophe Combette explains. “Google is helping our community prepare, as we know that developers and advertisers in the iOS ecosystem are still figuring out how to adapt.”

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Google is apparently among those companies still figuring out how to adapt. A report emerged in early January that the firm hadn’t updated any of its apps on iOS in over a month because of this change. Since then, Google has updated some key apps on iOS—including Chrome, Maps, News, Photos, YouTube Music, and others—it still isn’t providing any privacy details in its app listings as required by Apple. Those details now have to be provided before the apps can be updated again.

“When Apple’s policy goes into effect, we will no longer use information (such as IDFA [Identifier for Advertisers]) that falls under ATT for the handful of our iOS apps that currently use it for advertising purposes,” Combette says. “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.”

As for Google’s customers, Google cautions that they may see “a significant impact to their Google ad revenue on iOS after Apple’s ATT policies take effect.” But it has little in the way of real-world advice about overcoming that issue. You know, beyond maybe just being a better corporate citizen, I guess.

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Conversation 12 comments

  • bart

    Premium Member
    27 January, 2021 - 11:59 am

    <p>I can see Google going the route: "If you like to have a full featured app, you have to allow tracking" (or something along those lines).</p>

  • zenpirate

    27 January, 2021 - 1:08 pm

    <p>Apple has essentially weaponized "honesty". Good.</p><p><br></p><p>*edit* "<em>even if they already have user consent</em>" …. See, it's right there on page 106 of the TOS…in 4 point font.</p>

  • Chris_Kez

    Premium Member
    27 January, 2021 - 1:10 pm

    <p>“<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Google is apparently among those companies still figuring out how to adapt.” ?</span></p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      28 January, 2021 - 6:39 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#610267">In reply to Chris_Kez:</a></em></blockquote><p>"You have to respect our/your users and ask them if you can exploit them."</p><p>"OK… Wait, WHAT?!?! But our entire business model is based on exploiting the masses, you can't give them rights!"</p>

  • rosyna

    27 January, 2021 - 1:13 pm

    <p>Google’s post is about the upcoming IDFA changes and is completely unrelated to the Privacy Nutrition Labels that have been required since December 8th.</p>

  • waethorn

    27 January, 2021 - 1:14 pm

    <p>What's coming to light now is that video streaming services are connecting to vast amounts of personally-identifiable information on mobile devices.</p><p><br></p><p>You asked for TV-on-the-Internet. And what you got was Cable 2.0 pricing + forced Neilson surveillance.</p>

  • fraXis

    Premium Member
    27 January, 2021 - 2:48 pm

    <p class="ql-indent-1"><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">A report emerged in early January that&nbsp;</em><a href="https://www.thurrott.com/google/245903/google-hasnt-updated-any-of-its-ios-apps-in-a-month&quot; target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 110, 206);"><strong><em>the firm hadn’t updated any of its apps on iOS in over a month</em></strong></a><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">&nbsp;because of this change. Since then, Google has updated some key apps on iOS—including Chrome, Maps, News, Photos, YouTube Music, and others—it still isn’t providing any privacy details in its app listings as required by Apple.&nbsp;.”</em></p><p><br></p><p>This is incorrect. Google has not updated any of these apps on my iPhone since December. </p><p><br></p><p>For example, if I go to the iOS App Store for Google Chrome, it shows the last update was from 2 months ago. </p><p><br></p><p><a href="https://apps.apple.com/us/app/google-chrome/id535886823&quot; target="_blank">https://apps.apple.com/us/app/google-chrome/id535886823</a></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p&gt;

    • ronh

      Premium Member
      27 January, 2021 - 5:22 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#610292">In reply to fraXis:</a></em></blockquote><p>2 months is "over a month"</p>

  • ronh

    Premium Member
    27 January, 2021 - 5:24 pm

    <p>If developers won't get as much money from ads in iOS, they will have to up the price for their app in the store. Apple will get more money as well</p>

  • b6gd

    27 January, 2021 - 11:29 pm

    <p>If just telling your own users, how you make money, is an open assault on your entire business model, you don't have a business model, you have a criminal enterprise.</p><p><br></p><p>Google, Facebook and twitter fall into that bucket.</p>

  • sscywong

    28 January, 2021 - 3:58 am

    <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">&gt; </span><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">it still isn’t providing any privacy details in its app listings as required by Apple.&nbsp;</em></p><p><br></p><p>Simply that means all possible checkboxes available for developers to tick regarding information that would be collected by the app are / will be checked… Or to visualize the real list, just consider that list would be longer or at least as long as that of fb app…. Thus they need more time to "reduce" the number of boxes that need to tick…. My guess is their goal is to make the list shorter than that of fb….</p>

  • paul888

    28 January, 2021 - 8:35 am

    <p>It would seam that Google, Facebook etc. have not discovered the subscription model. All users of these services on any system should be given a choice, provide their user data or pay a subscription fee! These services are not free and need to be paid for, if your privacy is important pay a subscription fee and stay private.</p><p><br></p>

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