Ahead of the much-awaited September 9 event, during which Apple is expected to unveil the next-generation iPhones and a wearable device (iWatch?), the company has tightened its privacy rules (via The Guardian).
To be more precise, Apple has informed developers that apps that make use of the HealthKit platform must not sell any personal data to advertisers.
Back in June, during the WWDC keynote, Apple announced a new app, Health, and a new platform, HealthKit. The latter allows apps that provide health and fitness services to collect and share data with the new Health app. A user’s health data is stored in a centralized and secure location, and the user decides which data should be shared with the developer’s app.
They stated “the developers “must not sell an end-user’s health information collected through the HealthKit APIs to advertising platforms, data brokers or information resellers”. Although, the rules add that they could share their data with “third parties for medical research purposes” as long as they get users’ consent.
The rules state: “Your application must not access the HealthKit APIs unless it is primarily designed to provide health and/or fitness services, and this usage is clearly evident in your marketing text and user interface.
“You and your application may not use the HealthKit APIs, or any information obtained through the HealthKit APIs, for any purpose other than providing health and/or fitness services in connection with your application (eg not for serving advertising).”
Apple has been vocal when it comes to privacy and is now warning developers that they cannot share the collected data with advertisers. However, Apple will allow them to share the data with third parties for medical research purposes.
The invitations for the September 9 event are out already, so “alea iacta est” (the die is cast). Let’s see what Apple has been developing lately in its labs.