January 20, 2021
The last time any Google app was updated was the day before the changes… What...

The last time any Google app was updated was the day before the changes…

What you need to know

  • Google has not updated any of its iOS apps since December 7.
  • A new report notes this was just one day before the introduction of new privacy labels which require apps to disclose how much of your data they use.

A new report speculates that Google may have stopped updating its iOS apps to avoid disclosing how much data it uses through Apple’s new iOS privacy labels.

From Fast Company:

Not a single one of Google’s iOS apps have been updated in almost a month—an unusually long period for a tech behemoth not to release, at the very least, even a minor bug fix or stability update for one of its dozens of insanely popular iPhone and iPad apps. And after reviewing the latest release dates for all of Google’s iOS apps, one reason for this lack of updates seems more likely than others: It could be related to Apple’s new App Store privacy labels.

The last time any Google iOS app was updated was on December 7. This includes updates to major Google apps like Google Drive, YouTube, Google Docs, Google Sheets, YouTube Music, Google Duo, Google Authenticator, and Gboard.

As the report notes, apps submitted from December 8 have to fill out privacy information, disclosing what data they collect from a user and how it’s used. That information is displayed in new ‘nutrition labels’ on the App’s App Store listing.

As the report notes, by not updating any of its apps following the change, Google has not yet had to disclose any of its data usage as set out by the change. In fact, the report notes a slew of updates pushed out in the week running up to the change for apps like Google Pay, Google Photos, and more.

The new labels have already exposed apps like Facebook for the vast amounts of user data they use. It could be that Google, as per this report, might well be trying to avoid letting users know just how much of their data it collects.

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