Apple removes ‘Jew or Not Jew’ from French App Store; database of public figures seen as offensive

“A Jewish developer of an app called ‘Jew or Not Jew?’ has found his app removed from the App Store in France following a complaint from a French anti-racism group that threatened legal action,” MacNN reports.

“The app compiled a database of celebrities and public figures and identified which were Jewish,” MacNN reports. “Apple says it removed the app not because of any perceived offense, but because the app violates a French law that forbids giving out personal details.”

MacNN reports, “The .79 Euro (roughly $1) app, called ‘Juif ou pas Juif?’ in French, is still available in App Stores outside France, and sells for $2 (and is still available) in the U.S. The developer, Johann Levy, says he came up with the app to satisfy curiousity in the Jewish community he grew up in, with people wanting to know if a given public figure was Jewish or not.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Adam Sandler ought to be the one threatening Levy with legal action.


[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


  1. What personal details?

    I do not know any celebrities which would deny that they are Jewish (if they are) or decline to discuss it.

    This complaint made it look as if this application discloses people’s actual personal data, like their home address (only some public figures make it easily known).

    So this ban is ridiculous from any point view — whether it is about “personal data” or “racism”.

    1. There are significant laws in Europe, France and Germany in particular, which were enacted after WWII to protect Jews against persecution and what happened to them in WWII (and before). Remember that the Nazis started out as a political party elected which then started publicly identifying Jews. Many of these laws are designed to never let such a process even start again.

      I’m just going to assume you are not in Europe and have no idea how “touchy” the Holocaust was and still is to people. And before you say “that could never happen,” I’m sure that’s what people thought in 1938 too.

      1. I know all of this (I am from Europe), but this personal data law is misapplied here. Anyone in France can read Wikipedia article about any celebrity and immediately find out that certain one is Jew.

        Even more, at the bottom of the article readers find “Jews in …[insert area of human activity]” so similar link-tag, which leads to category with all of people that are Jewish. And this, of course, not limited only to Jews; other nations have similar tags.

        (For English version of such pages, see, for example,

        There is nothing wrong about it according to France and its laws, but, all of sudden, this iPhone application beyond borders?

      1. In some parts of the world anti-Semitism increases, in others not, but you are right that Jews have reason to be cautious. But, in this case, they are not.

        Neither the talked celebrities hide or deny that they are Jews (if they are), nor the Jew who created this application is worried.

        Now, however, he and the Jewish community are punished presumably for the sake of their “protection”, even though Wikipedia is at least no less “dangerous” than the said application.

      1. If you Touchy people from Touchiland with your Touchan beliefs and Toucharoo Jeans would just stop being so Touched people would stop touching your buttons! Its not racist, it is only natural to not like Touchy people, they spoil the planet for everyone!

  2. The app developer is a douche. From both sides of the fence even. I can’t stand people who are obsessed with whether someone shares their ethnicity or religion. I did it as a kid when I was a born-again Christian, and I OUTGREW it. Then, from the other side of the fence, it sounds fricking eery. To the point of it being potentially popular in the anti-semitic world. Again, the dev is a douche. Ban it.

  3. What is the problem?
    We live in an information age. People have a right to know whatever it is reasonable for them to know. If it works well, the stats should be illuminating. If they are then other studies based on other groups will follow. And that will be good to know too.
    It is all grist to the mill.
    What’s wrong with knowing these things? It would be interesting to know all of this. And it would be equally interesting to know it for every human category.

  4. About a million years ago, there was an SNL skit starring Tom Hanks (Jewish? Don’t know don’t care, but I think so) of a fake game show, “Jew or not a Jew.” I’m sure many found it offensive, but it was pretty funny. Contestant buzzes in: “Uh, ‘Jew,’ Bob.” I’m pretty white, and fairly liberal, but I can’t see getting offended by an app that guesses what someone’s religion or ethnicity is. Who cares? Bigots? They don’t need an app to spread their hate, they have plenty of outlets already. If this was meant to be humorous, let it go.

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