Blog / News / Apple Changes App Store Rule for Children’s Apps and Sign-in Services

Apple Changes App Store Rule for Children’s Apps and Sign-in Services

Chandrapal Singh By Chandrapal Singh | September 13, 2019
Apple-store-rule

Apple’s App Store Sign-in policies with Apple service along with children’s app categories rules have been tweaked. The changes were originally announced at Apple’s Developer conference in the summer. 

Under the policy, new apps are required to adhere to the guidelines whereas existing apps are given a relaxation of an additional six months to remain live in their current form but they must comply with the new guidelines by April 2020.

The changes are gathering strong statements of support from advocacy groups and advertising providers for children’s apps on the tweaks. 

Justifying the tweaks, Apple’s Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple Inc. said that they had spent time with developers along with analytics companies and advertising services to listen to what they had to say about the proposals in order to make some updates. 

There are two major updates-

Changes in Kid’s App Categories

Similar to voice searches that will enhance App Store app experience, this time the tech giant did another experiment in order to provide advance privacy and data security.

The first space that’s getting additional tweaking is the Kids apps. Both the rule sections 1.3 and 5.1.4 are being adjusted after Apple had a talk with developers and providers of ad and analytics services regarding their concerns over the past few months.

The changes in section 1.3 state that, in limited cases, third-party analytics may be permitted in kids’ apps only if it adheres to the new set of rules mentioned in guidelines 1.3. However, the services should not collect or transmit any kind of identifiable information about children including their name, email address, date of birth, location or any unique device identifier. 

Meanwhile, the changes in section 5.1.4 centers on data handling in kid’s applications. Complying with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), GDPR rules and other local regulations, the tech giant Apple sets out some explicit guard rails.

Supporting the tweak, Josh Golin, executive director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said “We commend Apple for taking real steps to protect children’s privacy and ensure that kids will not be targets for data-driven, personalized marketing,” and further said “Apple rightly recognizes that a child’s personally identifiable information should never be shared with marketers or other third parties. We also appreciate that Apple made these changes on its own accord, without being dragged to the table by regulators.”

In addition to this, an additional clause also reminds iOS developers not to use terms like “for kids” and “for children” in-app metadata for apps that are outside of the kids’ category available on the App Store. 

To this, several developers have expressed their concern stating that the change in the policy will harm their business models. 

But on the other hand, CEO Dylan Collins of SuperAwesome company supported the tweaks by stating that “Apple are clearly very serious about setting the standard for kids apps and digital services, “They’ve spent a lot of time working with developers and kid tech providers to ensure that policies and tools are set to create great kids digital experiences while also ensuring their digital privacy and safety. This is the model for all other technology platforms to follow.”

Sign in with Apple

The second set of updates belongs to Apple’s Sign-in policy with Apple services. 

Sign in with Apple is a sign-in service that can be offered by an app developer to create an account that is managed by Apple while providing additional privacy to the user. 

In addition to this, apps that use a third-party or other social login services like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon, LinkedIn or WeChat to set up or authenticate a user’s primary account within the application must offer to Sign in with Apple as an equivalent option. 

Meanwhile, some additional scenarios have been also added making Sign in with Apple not be required in certain conditions such as- 

  • When your app exclusively using your company’s own account setup and sign-in systems. 
  • When your educational, entrepreneurial or business app requires users to login in with an existing educational or entrepreneurial account. 
  • When your app uses government or industrial-based citizen identification system or electronic ID for authenticating users.
  • When your app is a client for specific third-party services and users are meant to sign in to their mail, social media account or other third-party accounts to access their content. 

Apart from that, if new apps submitted to the store do not meet any of the aforementioned requirements then they must offer Sign in with Apple facility to the users.

Chandrapal Singh
Chandrapal Singh

A technocrat and an entrepreneur who is the Co-Founder and Chief Delivery Head at Appventurez. Skilled in object-oriented programming (OOP), iOS Development, Design Principles, Data Structures, and Swift, he has served different organizations as Tech Lead.

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