Facebook-owned WhatsApp is protesting Apple’s new requirement for developers to submit information about what data they collect from users so that it can be included in the App Store’s new privacy labels.
Axios reports WhatsApp has accused Apple of anti-competitive behavior as Apple’s iMessage is pre-installed on iPhones and doesn’t require a download from the App Store, where the new privacy labels will be shown.
“We think labels should be consistent across first and third party apps as well as reflect the strong measures apps may take to protect people’s private information,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told Axios. “While providing people with easy to read information is a good start, we believe it’s important people can compare these ‘privacy nutrition’ labels from apps they download with apps that come pre-installed, like iMessage.”
Apple has tried to streamline what the labels will include by using broad-base terms like “financial information” and “user content” to describe data collection broadly. WhatsApp says these terms may worry users about what the company collects, giving it a competitive disadvantage.
While WhatsApp submitted the required information to Apple on Monday, it said in a blog post that “Apple’s template does not shed light on the lengths apps may go to protect sensitive information.”
WhatsApp’s spokesperson told Axios, “while WhatsApp cannot see people’s messages or precise location, we’re stuck using the same broad labels with apps that do.”
The App Store’s new privacy “nutrition labels” are part of a wider privacy effort included as a part of its iOS 14 update which debuted in September.