Three weeks after Google promised it would add Apple's mandatory app privacy labels "as soon as this week," none of the company's main apps have the labels, including Gmail, search, Photos, Docs, and YouTube.
There have been some questions about whether Google is purposefully not updating its apps to avoid the labels, so I looked through every Google app in the iOS App Store to find out whether the updates have been coming.
Some have: 12 apps now have the iOS privacy labels, though they may not be as recognizable as YouTube or Gmail:
- Google Translate
- Google Authenticator
- Google Play Movies and TV
- Google Classroom
- Google Fiber
- Google Fiber TV
- Wear OS
- Onduo for Diabetes
- Project Baseline
- Google Smart Lock
- Motion Stills – GIF, Collage
Clicking through to the privacy labels, they seem to make sense. Some of the apps, like Google Authenticator, don't capture much information, while Google Translate and Classroom have a pretty hefty list of privacy notices.
Again, this doesn't necessarily mean that Google is capturing all of that information just from you opening the app. The privacy label just shows all of the things the app may capture depending on which features you use. And while you may have to scroll a bit through the list, it's nothing like Facebook's seemingly endless list.
Google promised a while ago that it would start adding privacy labels to its apps on the App Store. They've now been added to Google Translate. pic.twitter.com/aC4jhExywM
— Mitchell (@strawberrywell) January 26, 2021
There are some oddities, though. "Motion Stills – GIF, Collage" is an app that hasn't been updated for three years, yet it has the privacy labels. It's probably fair to say that this wasn’t the app we had in mind when Google promised it would start rolling them out.
Apple launched these privacy labels on December 14th, and companies like Google can no longer update their apps unless they add these privacy labels first. So when some people noticed that Google had stopped updating its apps, they speculated that it may be to avoid having to admit how much data it was collecting.
Google has denied that, though, explicitly telling TechCrunch that it wasn't holding back updates and that it was committed to adding the labels when those updates were ready. The company reiterated that promise in a privacy-focused blog post on January 12th:
As Google's iOS apps are updated with new features or to fix bugs, you'll see updates to our app page listings that include the new App Privacy Details. These labels represent the maximum categories of data that could be collected—meaning if you use every available feature and service in the app.
They are rolling out. It's just not clear when Google will update its most popular apps — the ones that likely suck up the most user data, anyhow.
- Apple, Google defend privacy practices in Congress
- New iPhone app Blendr offers dating in real time
- Microsoft adding privacy options to new Web browser
- Windows Phone struggles to break catch-22 as app makers hold off
- Reviewers swoon over Apple's "flat out lovely" iPhone 5
- Google's Android finally earns respect with developers
- Android challenges the iPhone in every category
- Facebook focus guides Google CEO's 1st year on job
- Big iOS 6 uptick linked to China launch, instead of Google Maps
- Google Maps returns to iPhone after Apple fiasco
- Health insurer Vitality attacked over Facebook app push
- Apple to beat Google on cloud music: sources
- Google, Apple CEOs in secret patent talks
- Twitter, Google+ overhauls ramp up competition
- Google supports voice, handwritten search in Vietnamese
- At last, apps for finding - what else? Apps
- Google unwraps Chrome PCs too late for holidays
- Apple to start selling new iPhones in China next month
- Google to run video ads from BMG, Warner
- 2014 an eventful journey for iPhone 6 in Vietnam
Weeks later, Google still hasn’t added privacy labels to its most popular iPhone apps have 649 words, post on www.theverge.com at January 26, 2021. This is cached page on Business News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.