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Google to add privacy information to iOS app suite as soon as this week

Google on Tuesday responded to claims that it might be skirting new iOS privacy safeguards by refusing to update its suite of apps, saying that plans are in place to furnish that information in pending updates.

A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company intends to submit updates with privacy labels for its complete app library, with the first slated to arrive as soon as this week.

Earlier today, a report by Fast Company noted Google has not updated any of its major apps iOS apps since early December. A mass update of about 15 apps went out on Dec. 7, a day prior to the enactment of a new policy that requires developers to provide privacy information for display in the App Store.

Dubbed "nutrition labels," the information is designed to supply users with new levels of app transparency. For example, developers must divulge what data is being collected by either itself or a third party, and how that information might be used.

Similar to past App Store policies, apps are allowed to remain on the storefront without publishing the privacy labels, though the new rules will be enforced when updates are submitted. Fast Company in its report suggested Google was delaying rollout of future updates to avoid exposure — and thereby criticism — of its data collection strategies, but the search giant denied those allegations.

According to the spokesperson, Google is not fighting Apple's "nutrition label" policy and will post the required details soon.

Interestingly, Apple seemingly allowed Google to update at least two apps — Google Slides and Socratic — after the Dec. 8 deadline without the appropriate privacy label information. It is unknown if Google was granted an exception to the privacy disclosure regulations.