How Apple Will Use Your Personal Data

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Ilia Kukharev
How Apple Will Use Your Personal Data

With the recent launch of iOS 12, Apple starts personalized recommendations based on users’ preferences. iPhone vs Android privacy has long been a big topic, and this change is hot news. These changes will also involve the Mac App Store, Apple Music and Apple Books.

Apple informs users that personal recommendations are based on users’ activities. This data will be also used for statistics and ads. Source:

How Recommendations Work and Does Apple Sell Your Data?

Let's get this out of the way first. Does Apple sell your data? No, Apple does not sell your data. Apple data and privacy regulations ensure fair use only.

As for how it works, apple starts reviewing users’ search history: what apps they look for, and when and how often they use the App Store. Apple data such as type of device, operating system used, and available memory card space will help to make the most perfect fit for users. 

This is how App Store notifies users about data collecting:

Recommendations of apps and games are selected from the ones featured before on Today tab.

Personalized recommendations will be generated out of previous selections and will update daily.

How to Limit Access to Personal Data

Users are still able to choose whether they want to keep their Apple data privacy secure or let Apple use it for statistics or ads. To manage your Apple privacy, go to the Apple ID privacy settings:

By default Personalized Recommendations field is switched on. You can deactivate it in the settings. After doing that, Apple and app developers won’t know about your actions within the App Store.

Recommendations for Mac App Store and Apple Music

Mac App Store will also use data to make personalized recommendations. This is how Mac Store informs users:

In the documentation for Apple Music API, we see that now there are methods for personalized tokens, which means that access to users’ personal data is required. Personalized tokens have apple data protection and are needed for many features of Apple Music such as:

  • Personal library.
  • History.
  • Recommendations.
  • Rating collections.

More about Apple Music API

Along with the App Store, access to personal data can be switched off.

What personalized recommendations mean for app developers

We were extremely interested in how personalized recommendations will influence the conversion rate, as well as Apple vs Google privacy policies. As you know, being featured in app stores makes a number of installs and views grow (learn more in the article How to get featured on the main App Store page). And we have managed to inform developers if the apps are being featured beforehand (track all the apps from Today, Apps and Games tabs). But is it possible to predict personalized featuring?

We can base our hypothesis on the Search Ads operating process. Here Apple divides users into groups of 5,000 people and uses their impersonalized data. It’s possible that personal recommendations will work for groups of users. In this case, an app will receive thousands of views daily.

Personalized recommendations will give more opportunities for an app to attract more loyal users. For example, yoga apps will be shown to a group of users who have searched or downloaded similar apps.

Don’t forget to take care of your app page: positive customer reviews, rates, high graphics quality, and descriptions will draw users’ attention after seeing it featured.

May AppFollow and ASO be with you. Keep up with our news!

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