Apple Requiring Developers to Validate Use of Certain APIs, Aiming to Improve Privacy In a significant move to enhance user privacy, developers will now be required to provide a justification for their utilization of certain Apple APIs before their apps can be featured on the App Store, as reported in a recent update on the Apple developer website identified by 9to5Mac.

Privacy

The Apple Developer website now categorizes some APIs as “Required Reason APIs”. This classification implies that developers must elucidate the reasons behind their use in their privacy manifest. Some frequently used APIs, including UserDefaults, an API that retains user preferences, are now included in the Required Reason segment.

With the imminent release of watchOS 10, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, tvOS 17, and macOS Sonoma later this year, developers will encounter a warning if they attempt to submit apps employing a Required Reason API without an explicit specification of its purpose. Starting from spring 2024, any apps that utilize these APIs without a legitimate explanation will be refused during the review procedure.

Apple states that the primary objective of this alteration is to impede fingerprinting, a technique employed to track users across diverse apps and websites. Fingerprinting leverages API calls to extract information about a user’s device, such as screen resolution, model, and operating system. This collected data is then processed to construct a unique “fingerprint”, facilitating the identification of the user across different apps or websites.

As per Apple, the implementation of Required Reason APIs will ensure that apps only use these APIs for their intended function. In case of a rejection, Apple will allow developers to challenge the verdict and submit an approval request if their case does not align with the current guidelines.

Further details can be obtained from the Apple Developer website.

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