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Apple is going to require that developers of apps submitted to the App Store review team explain what APIs they are using and why starting later this year. The change is designed to help prevent users from having their privacy invited by rogue apps.
Apple told developers that this change was coming back at WWDC in June, but this is the first time that the change has been noticed in the public domain. Apple is also now telling developers which APIs it will consider as those that will soon require more information from developers.
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According to Apple, some developers have been using some APIs as a way to digitally track people. That tracking information can then be used to target ads or sold to data brokers. It’s Apple’s hope that by making developers justify their use of those APIs that it will be able to catch those who don’t have a legitimate reason to be accessing them.
The new change will kick in with the release of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma, tvOS 17, and watchOS 10. All of those software updates are expected to be made available to the public this September of October.
Apple says that any apps submitted for review after that point will see their developers have to justify why they are using specific APIs. If the reason is insufficient or not supplied, the app will be rejected.
Apple makes a big deal of the privacy that its App Store requirements afford users of iPhones around the world. While this change could make it more troublesome to submit apps for review, it could well help protect users.