Apple delays plan to enforce limits on third-party tracking in kids apps

App Store
App Store (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple said it will delay plans to enforce restrictions on kids apps in the App Store.
  • Apple's new rules are designed to help keep kids' data private.
  • Apple said it's working more closely with developers before the new rules go into effect.

Apple has decided to delay plans to limit third-party tracking in kids apps, according to The Washing Post. The delay comes after Apple developers raised concerns about the impending changes.

Following an inquiry from The Washington Post, Apple said Friday that it now plans to delay the rule changes. "We aren't backing off on this important issue, but we are working to help developers get there," Apple spokesman Fred Sainz wrote in an emailed statement.

Apple originally planned to enforce its new rules next month. The goal of the new rules is to prevent apps from tracking younger users, thus providing greater protections. In an update to its guidelines in June, Apple outlined its new policy:

In order to help keep kids' data private, apps in the kids category and apps intended for kids cannot include third-party advertising or analytics software and may not transmit data to third parties.

The Washington Post's story highlights developer Gerald Youngblood, who created the free iPhone app Tankee. According to Youngblood, Apple's new rules could limit Tankee's ability to show ads, causing him to re-think the app's price. Youngblood, along with other developers, believes Apple's rules are unfair.

Apple said its aim wasn't to harm developers, but was spurned to create the new rules after hearing from concerned parents, who said their kids are sometimes the target of inappropriate ads.

Apple still plans to enforce restrictions on kids apps in order to protect users, but it first wants to collaborate with developers before these rules go into effect. According to Apple, although there's been some confusion about the new rules, developers are generally supportive of trying to protect kids.

Brandon Russell