Is it best to lie and say that my app tracks users to get App Store approval?


Trying to submit an update for an app that’s already listed. In a past review, I was led to believe that my app uses “tracking” by Apple’s definition. So to get through the review process, I just went with their suggestion to update my App Privacy settings to indicate that my app tracks users.

Got a different reviewer today. They are saying that my app does not in fact track users – which is what I thought all along. So that’s great.

But I can’t remove the tracking setting in App Privacy because my app apparently has “NSUserTrackingUsageDescription” set somewhere. It’s not in my infoPlist, so I’m assuming that perhaps some other library may be triggering it? The only library I’ve added in this update is Stripe React Native (for Apple Pay), so I assume that may be why?

However, what counters the above hypothesis is that apparently the App Privacy settings are meant to correspond to the version of the app that is currently live in the App Store, which means something else in my app has triggered NSUserTrackingUsageDescription, without me having that setting written in my app.json’s info.plist section.

The problem is that I can’t remove NSUserTrackingUsageDescription if it’s not in my app, so the only course of action I see is to simply add it so that Apple leaves me alone about it. Are there any alternatives? You can’t have a conversation with Apple because they 100% will continuously send you canned replies about the guidelines from the Holy Apple Text :roll_eyes:.

When I try to update my app to correctly reflect that it’s not tracking users, this is the error message I see in App Store Connect:

“Your app contains NSUserTrackingUsageDescription, indicating that you will request permission to track users. To update this information on your app’s product page, you must indicate which data types are tracking users. If this is incorrect, update your app binary and upload a new build to App Store Connect.”

TLDR: When you can’t get human replies from Apple and your app is being incorrectly flagged as tracking users, is it best to just let them win, add expo-tracking-transparency and say that your app is tracking users?

The answer is “yes” for anyone who is wondering who submitting an appeal to Apple will work out.

Hi @michaellaw9

If you’re using expo build:ios then the tracking code is included in your app, whether you use it or not.

If you’re using eas build then the code is not included, unless you deliberately install it as a dependency.

So you might want to try switching to eas build instead of just telling Apple that you track your users when you do not actually track them.

Note that switching to EAS Build does mean you need to be more careful about OTA updates.

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