How difficult is it to meet Apple’s app removal requirements and enforce privacy compliance?

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Transcend has released the results of its latest survey of tech decision makers, which gauged their readiness for Apple’s built-in removal requirements for iOS apps that offer account creation.

Findings show that 71% of businesses surveyed are not fully prepared to meet Apple’s compliance date of June 30, 2022. The tech giant’s guidance requires iOS apps that enable account creation to enable deletion in enforcing not just a consumer’s account, but erasing their entire personal data footprint.

Additional Results

  • In order to comply, more than two-thirds of companies plan to invest significant engineering time to meet Apple’s mandate.
  • Less than a quarter of respondents understand the extent of deletion requirements in Apple’s app, despite Apple’s clarifications.

“The results of our new research and Apple’s extension of their original January 2022 deadline show how difficult privacy compliance can be. Respecting privacy should be frictionless. But companies know that it’s nearly impossible to truly address consumer data rights at scale, beyond the bare minimum of compliance, without engineering work on data systems. Manual approaches simply cannot keep pace in a world where consumer data moves so quickly,” said Transcend’s CEO. Ben Brook.

Apple’s directive

In October 2021, Apple updated its App Store guidelines to require that “all apps that allow account creation must also allow users to initiate account deletion from within the app.”

The company went on to say that app providers should “review any laws that may require you to retain certain types of data and ensure that your app clearly explains what data your app collects, how it collects that data, any the uses of that data, your data retention/deletion policies, and more as described in the guidelines. Examples of this type of data include electronic health records and sales and warranty records. Please also confirm that the app privacy information on your product page is accurate.”

What this means for app developers

Apple has shown increasing scrutiny of app updates and has indicated it isn’t afraid to reject or remove apps from the store when they don’t meet guidelines. Moreover, with the consumer privacy initiatives at an all time high for Apple, developers should have every reason to believe that Apple will take non-compliance seriously.

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