Adapting to Apple’s New Privacy Standards: A Comprehensive Guide for iOS Developers


As of May 1, 2024, Apple has implemented new privacy requirements for iOS app submissions. These changes are designed to bolster user privacy by ensuring transparency and justification for the use of specific APIs that could impact user privacy.

Overview of the New Guidelines

Under the new rules, developers must include a privacy manifest with their app submissions. This manifest must detail the use of any APIs that require justification. Additionally, third-party SDKs integrated into the app must also provide their own privacy manifests and signatures when necessary.

Implications for Developers

The new policy affects all iOS app developers as follows:

  1. Developers are required to document and justify the use of each API in their apps.
  2. All third-party SDKs used in the app must comply with the new privacy requirements.

Steps to Ensure Compliance

  1. Assess API Usage: Identify the APIs in your app that need a declared reason for their use.
  2. Create Privacy Manifests: Draft detailed justifications for API usage and compile them into a privacy manifest.
  3. Verify SDK Compliance: Ensure that all third-party SDKs in your app meet the new requirements.
  4. Test Your App: Confirm that your app adheres to Apple’s privacy standards before submission.
  5. Submit through App Store Connect: Include your privacy manifest when submitting or updating your app.

Risks of Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with Apple’s new API declaration requirements can have several serious consequences for developers:

  1. App Rejection: Non-compliant apps will be rejected from the App Store, preventing new downloads and updates, potentially leading to lost revenue and decreased user engagement.
  2. Functionality Reduction: Developers may need to disable certain features or remove third-party SDKs that are not properly documented, which can reduce the app’s functionality and user experience.
  3. Reputation Damage: Non-compliance can harm a developer’s reputation, as digital privacy is a major concern for users. Users may view non-compliant apps as less secure, negatively impacting the developer’s brand and trustworthiness.
  4. Increased Scrutiny for Future Submissions: Developers who fail to comply repeatedly may face stricter reviews and longer approval times for future app submissions, complicating new releases and updates.

Need Assistance?

Navigating these new requirements can be challenging, especially for apps with numerous APIs or third-party SDKs. If you need help adjusting your app to meet these new standards, Koombea is here to assist. We specialize in ensuring apps comply with the latest regulations, offering peace of mind that your app remains in line with Apple’s policies. Contact us at Koombea to get started.

Final Thoughts

Apple’s new API declaration requirements represent a significant move towards greater transparency and user privacy. By requiring developers to document the use of sensitive APIs, Apple aims to create a more secure app ecosystem. Start preparing now to ensure your app meets these new standards by May 2024.

For detailed guidelines and further information, developers can refer to the official Apple Developer documentation.

Share this post