Privacy Manifest

A privacy manifest is a document that outlines an app’s data practices, including details about how the app handles user data, and now required by Apple when leveraging commonly-used APIs. This is an important record that ensures mobile marketers are adhering to privacy regulations and protecting user information, essentially creating a privacy nutrition label for consumers.

A privacy manifest file is a document that describes the various ways an app handles user data. This information includes which data the app’s third-party SDKs collect, how the app uses the data, who the data is shared with, and how it will be protected.

Why privacy manifest matters to mobile marketers

Privacy manifest files are invaluable to mobile marketers for many reasons, including the following:

  • They help marketers build trust with consumers. App users are care about how their data is being used and how well it’s being protected. An app’s privacy manifest shows them that the app developer and marketer care about safeguarding their personal information.
  • They help foster stronger user engagement. When users trust apps, such as those using iOS, they are more likely to interact with them, which can help boost user engagement and retention.
  • They help marketers comply with laws and regulations. Mobile marketers are required to adhere with privacy rules, and having strong privacy manifest files in place helps them remain in compliance.
  • They help marketers avoid fines and penalties. When marketers don’t comply with privacy regulations and laws, they are met with penalties and fine. Having a privacy manifest in places helps them steer clear of these punitive actions and remain in good standing.

Understanding third-party SDKs and required reason APIs

Third-party SDKs and required reason APIs are important elements of privacy manifests for iOS apps that operate on Apple devices. Here’s how they work to make sure user data is handled appropriately:

  • Third-party SDKs: Third-party SDKs are tools or libraries of tools that app developers integrate into their apps to collect user data for analytics, social media, advertising, and other functions. These tools are provided to app developers by third parties to help them leverage data for marketing and advertising purposes.
  • Required reason APIs: When an app wants to access features on a user’s device, such as location, the camera, the microphone, or personal data, the app must explain to the user why it wants access. A required reason API enables the app to send the request for information to users in the app. This feature helps empower users to have a say in how their data is collected and used.

Considerations about privacy manifests for iOS and Apple

Apple products and iOS have a unique privacy manifest with a special emphasis on user education that empowers them to make their own decisions about their data.

Privacy manifest files for iOS are well regarded for their comprehensive transparency, strict data collection and sharing guidelines, industry-leading privacy technology, and other related features that are often seen as the industry standard for mobile. In fact, Apple requires that apps running on iOS disclose if any data is collected by a third-party SDK and, if it is, which data is collected, shared, and used.

Staying on top of current trends

It’s important for marketers to stay informed about current trends that may impact the way privacy manifest files are developed and deployed. This includes an increase in regulations and stricter data privacy laws. Marketers must ensure their data manifests are detailed enough to account for enhanced requirements as they continue to evolve.

Privacy manifests are also becoming more user-centric and are written in language that is clear and easy for non-technical users to understand. There’s a growing trend to offer users more control over how their data is used, as iOS does, and some privacy manifests contain simple instructions to help users opt out of data collection or edit or delete their information.

Apps often share user information with third parties, such as advertisers, using third-party SDKs. Today, privacy manifests typically explain which user data is shared and who it is shared with.

Looking ahead

Privacy manifests will continue to evolve as technologies and data privacy laws change.

  • Artificial intelligence will influence the way privacy manifests are created and will be able to tailor them to each user based on how they engage with the app and what their preferences are.
  • Interactive tools may be used to allow users to control how their data is handled in real time.
  • International privacy standards may emerge, which will make it easier for mobile marketers to ensure they are in compliance with regulations, wherever their users may be.
  • Blockchain technology may be used to make data and privacy manifests even more secure.

Privacy manifests are essential to marketers, ultimately helping them build trust with consumers and enhance user engagement and retention.