In an embarrassing glitch, Google’s servers flagged its own apps as out-of-date because…they are.
Apple is requiring app updates to include a privacy label, clearly indicating what data is collected and connected to the user. Facebook drew intense criticism when it updated its apps and disclosed just how much data it collected and tracked. Meanwhile, Google has not updated the bulk of its apps in months, with many believing it’s trying to avoid the flack Facebook experienced. The company has claimed that’s not the case, but the evidence would suggest otherwise.
The company’s apps are now so out-of-date that Google’s own servers started informing people and suggesting they upgrade to a new version. There’s just one minor issue — there are no newer versions.
First spotted by Techmeme editor Spencer Dailey, Gmail, Google Photos and Google Maps all popped up a notification informing users they needed to upgrade (demonstrated in his video below). The issue appears to have been a server-side glitch, as users are no longer receiving the error even though the apps haven’t been updated. Google likely made a server-side change to disable the notification.
Whatever the case, the notification is an embarrassment for Google and continues to undermine its claim that it is not trying to avoid Apple’s privacy labels. The company needs to update its apps immediately, providing clarity and transparency about what data it does and does not collect.