Apple’s recent changes to the App Store rules also impacted the Sign in with Apple feature. Under the new rules, applications that use user authorization services through third-party platforms such as Google and Facebook are not allowed to be used✴ and X (formerly Twitter) no longer have to offer the option to sign in with an Apple account. However, in return, developers are obliged to offer users an alternative authorization service that offers certain guarantees about the confidentiality of their data.
Apple’s App Store rules previously stated: “Apps that use third-party providers or social platforms to log in (e.g. Facebook).✴ (Sign in, “Sign in with Google”, “Sign in with Twitter”, “Sign in with LinkedIn”, “Sign in with Amazon” or WeChat Sign in) to create or authenticate a primary user account in the application must also offer “Sign in with Apple” as an equivalent option. A user’s primary account is the account they create with your application to identify, log in, and access your features and related services.“
Now apps no longer have to ask you to sign in with Apple. However, according to the latest changes, it is required that the alternative authorization service limits data collection only to the user’s name and email address, can hide the email address when registering an account, and can monitor the user’s actions in the Application does not track itself. This rule now applies in all countries of the world where the Apple App Store is available.
It is important to note that Apple has provided four exceptions to this rule:
- The application exclusively uses its own account setup and login systems.
- The application is an educational, corporate or business application that requires the user to log in with an existing educational or corporate account.
- The application uses a government or industrial citizen identification system or electronic ID card to authenticate users.
- The app is a client for a specific third-party service. To access its content, users must log in directly to their email, social media or other third-party accounts.
The question arises: How widely available are authorization services that meet Apple’s new requirements, beyond the Sign in with Apple feature itself? It’s likely that Apple carefully crafted every word in these rules to entice developers to use the Sign in with Apple feature, despite the apparent flexibility of the wording.
Let’s not forget that this isn’t the first time that Apple’s App Store policy surrounding Sign in with Apple has caused debate and controversy. When the feature was first introduced in June 2019, Apple initially set strict rules about how and when developers should offer it as an option for users to sign in to apps. However, in response to the criticism, the company relaxed these requirements a few months later, demonstrating flexibility and consideration for developers’ opinions. Whether she will do the same this time remains to be seen.