In a nutshell – an Internet Access Policy (IAP) is a document, that allows software vendors to declare and describe the Internet usage of their programs.
As a user you certainly value the protection of your privacy. So you understandably want to know where a program connects to on the Internet, what data it sends, and for what purpose.
The IAP now offers you the opportunity to learn more about the connection behavior of the programs you use.
Especially when using firewall software like Little Snitch the IAP helps you determine whether and why a particular Internet connection is necessary, and what possible consequences blocking this connection can have.
If you are a software developer, you’re likely to face an increasing privacy awareness of your users. You may have already been confronted with requests from concerned customers who wanted to know why your application connects to a particular server on the Internet.
The IAP now offers you the opportunity to make this information transparent by enclosing a policy file in your app bundle. By disclosing this information, you are showing that you take your customers’ desire for privacy seriously. And as a result, you can dispel possible concerns of your users and increase confidence in your product.
Firewall software can also access this machine-readable, digitally signed information to offer the user additional support in configuring the firewall settings, and thus ensure that your program continues to work properly.
If you want to add an IAP to your application, please check out the Technical Documentation of the Internet Access Policy.
A growing number of third party applications already provide an Internet Access Policy. Here are just a few: