Tuesday, July 28, 2020

New EU Regulations for App Stores

Seth Barton:

The rules, which you can see here in full if you’re happy to fight through them, or as discussed here by the EGDF’s Jari-Pekka Kaleva on GI.Biz, cover a wide range of ongoing issues that developers have with stores.

Platforms will have to provide 30 days notice to publishers before removing content from stores, allowing them time to appeal or make changes to their software. So no immediate and opaque bans (article 4).

The regulations (in article 5) will force stores to be more transparent in how their ranking systems work, letting publishers understand how ‘trending’ apps are being chosen for instance.

Geoff Keating:

The 30 day period is for the termination of “all services” (deleting the developer’s account). Removal (“restrict or suspend”) from the App Store can be done immediately, so long as reasons are provided.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Apple needs to disclose any preferential treatment it gives to big developers & publishers

Apple must have an external mediator for disputes that can’t be resolved by App Review

David Barnard:

Ranking transparency will likely give more ammo to black hat ASO than it does conscientious developers.


If Apple weren’t pushing so hard on revenue and could’ve better policed themselves, I don’t think they would’ve invited this mixed [bag] of regulation from the EU.


2 Comments RSS · Twitter

[…] Update: E.U. regulations took effect a couple of weeks ago that require online marketplaces, like the App Store, to disclose preferential treatment and enforces transparency around search rankings. It also requires Apple to give thirty days’ notice to developers before an app or service is removed from sale, with exceptions for scams, intellectual property infringement, and similar offences. Via Michael Tsai. […]

Why in the world are people writing these hot takes, and explaining how this will obviously have terribly bad effects on developers, when many of them apparently haven't even read the regulation? The articles are not that long, they're very readable. I wish people would at least take fifteen minutes read the thing before complaining about how bad it is.

Here's the link to the regulation:

The ranking article in particular specifically states that companies don't have to release any algorithms, and don't have to release "any information that, with reasonable certainty, would result in the enabling of deception of consumers or consumer harm through the manipulation of search results."

But even ignoring that, it's kind of absurd to assume that the only people who would benefit from this would be scammers, and that Apple would in no way adapt the ranking system to counteract that.

This kind of knee-jerk reactionary anti-regulation shitposting is why Americans can't have nice things :-)

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