Apple hits pause on plan to limit tracking in kids apps

Apple has hit pause on its plan to limit third-party tracking in apps designed for children.

According to a source at The Washington Post, Apple’s decision was spawned out of an inquiry from TWP about app developers who were creating child-friendly apps – with many concerned over the viability of their products.

Earlier in the year, it was revealed that Apple would limit ad tracking in apps that were marketed and aimed at children to protect their privacy, and Apple confirmed it would roll out the changes in September with iOS 13.

Now, though, the company said it will hold off to give developers time to adjust to the new App Store rules.

“We aren’t backing off on this important issue, but we are working to help developers get there,” Apple spokesman Fred Sainz told The Washington Post.

Apple updated its App Store guidelines earlier in the year to prevent apps for children from using trackers, which can collect a significant amount of data about user habits to better serve advertisements across the web.

Alongside the new changes, Apple promised it was “severely curtailing” its ad sales instead of kids apps.

Under the new guidelines, apps in the kids category cannot include third-party advertising, nor analytics software that can transmit data to third parties. This guideline is already in place for new apps, whilst existing apps should look to meet this guideline by September 3 to avoid penalties or have their app removed from the App Store.

Developers have expressed their concerns over the changes, telling The Washington Post that Apple is limiting their ability to show ads and therefore making it impossible for them to earn a living from their product.

One developer, Dylan Collins, the chief executive of SuperAwesome, said: “This will simply kill the kids app category,” suggesting that developers will either pull their apps or lock them behind a paywall.

What are your thoughts on these latest developments? Do you agree with Apple or do you think they’re coming down too hard on independent developers who are trying to make a living from their work? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter using @AppleMagazine, and check back soon for more news and rumors on everything Apple.

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