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All Apple iOS apps must have privacy disclosures in the future, reportedly

Apple updated its App Store approval policy with a mandate for links to privacy policies even for offline apps.

You probably never click on that "Privacy Policy" link as often as the "In-App Purchases" info that appears above it, especially for apps like Fortnite which you're going to install not matter what. But for those of us who do, this is good news: Apple has extended its privacy policy disclosure rules to cover all apps, not just those that connect to the internet. It applies to apps submitted for approval on Oct. 3 forward, according to an announcement that reportedly went out to developers on its App Store Connect Thursday night.

Privacy policy info is submitted in the app metadata, and opens a link via Safari to a web page hosted on the app developer's site. For TVOS, which doesn't have a browser with which to open links, it will have to be included in plain text for display within its App store. Previously, apps which don't connect to the internet after installation weren't required to provide the information. 

That's according to 9to5Mac, which also speculates that the new rules are somehow GDPR-related, as most privacy policy changes seem to be these days. We reached out to to Apple to confirm the changes, but did not immediately hear back.

It comes just a couple weeks before Apple's annual iPhone announcements, scheduled for Sept 12. While App Store changes are generally announced during the company's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) in June, it might perhaps also presage an upcoming change related we may see in a couple of weeks. For instance, dual-SIM phones, which we expect to be announced, are frequently used by travelers to Europe to connect to local networks, and those would necessarily need to comply with the GDPR.

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