Apple to introduce “Privacy Manifests”

Apple has recently announced a number of changes to privacy on the App Store that are set to have an impact on developers, advertisers, and UA specialists. The most significant change is the introduction of Privacy Manifests, described as files that outline the privacy practices of the third-party code in an app.

With one comprehensive report that summarises all third-party SDKs found in an app, it will be even easier for developers to create more accurate Privacy Nutrition Labels.

The move comes in light of Apple’s ongoing mission to protect user privacy, which has already impacted many game development processes, including user acquisition and advertising. For many, the introduction of Privacy Manifests could finally put an end to fingerprinting, with Apple set to publish a list of privacy-impacting SDKs later this year.

What exactly is changing?

For those who are already concerned about privacy, the introduction of privacy manifests will arguably offer much greater ease of access and observation. However, for those unaware of the privacy implications of certain SDKs, it will represent an extra hurdle.

Developers selecting an API that could be used for fingerprinting “will now be required to select an allowed reason for usage of the API and declare that usage in the privacy manifest.” It means developers will have to list this reason, and the API may only be used for this reason.

This new move further tightens privacy restrictions, and while many people have praised Apple for its commitment to ensuring users’ privacy, others have felt restrained by the “Walled garden” approach that the company has adopted. Developers, advertisers, and UA specialists will now have to rely more than ever on Apple’s own toolkits for vital elements such as attribution.

The “opening” of iOS has presented its problems for Apple, meaning that the company has been quick to point out the number of fraudulent transactions and unsecure apps it has rejected in 2021.