Allowing apps without privacy policies is something of an obvious hole that Apple should have clogged due to its general protective nature over user data. But the change is even more critical since European data protection legislation came into force. Although the app makers are ultimately responsible for their customers' own data, Apple is also responsible for providing these apps here.
Platforms are now blamed for the behavior of their apps, and the misuse of data that may occur as a result of their own policies around those apps.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, for example, was dragged before the US Senate over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where data from 87 million Facebook users were inappropriately received via Facebook apps.
Apple's new requirement therefore provides the company with a protective layer ̵
The new policy will be needed for all apps and app updates in the App Store, as well as on the October 3rd TestFlight test platform, Apple says.
What is not clear is whether Apple itself, as part of this change, will review all privacy policies for rejecting apps with questionable data usage policies or user protection measures. If this is the case, the times for the App Store may be extended, unless the company hires more employees.
Apple has already taken position on apps that seem questionable, like Facebook's data-sucking app from Onavo, which threw it out of the App Store earlier this month. However, the app was live for years and the App Store text revealed that the collected data was shared with Facebook. The fact that Apple just launched it now seems to indicate that it will adopt a tougher attitude towards apps that aim to collect user data as one of its primary functions.