Apple is reportedly removing apps that share your location data with third parties

“Over the last few days, Apple has seemingly started cracking down on applications that share location data with third-parties,” Chance Miller reports for 9to5Mac. “In such cases, Apple has been removing the application in question and informing developers that their app violates two parts of the App Store Review Guidelines.”

“Thus far, we’ve seen several cases of Apple cracking down on these types of applications,” Miller reports. “The company informs developers via email that ‘upon re-evaluation,’ their application is in violation of sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines, which pertain to transmitting user location data and user awareness of data collection”

Miller reports, “Furthermore, the company is cracking down on instances where the data is used for purposes unrelated to improving the user experience: ‘You may not use or transmit someone’s personal data without first obtaining their permission and providing access to information about how and where the data will be used. Data collected from apps may not be used or shared with third parties for purposes unrelated to improving the user experience or software/hardware performance connected to the app’s functionality.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why were any apps that “transmitted someone’s personal data without first obtaining their permission” int he App Store to begin with?

If the App Store review process were working properly, such apps should have been caught int the initial review and rejected.


      1. his 2nd post. But, why? The solid qrt report, the orgasm caused by Warren’s purchases, and the rise of the stock, cause many lose the ability, willingness, or clarity of mind to to be honest/critical. “Where are all the Cook naysayers now,” was a common refrain after earnings. Some of us are still here. Some of us see the positive and the negative. Just b/c Apple is stuffed with greenbacks doesn’t mean everything is ok. I don’t have to work any more…thank you AAPL, but I don’t and hope to never be blinded to think AAPL’s riches are the true bottom line. There’s nothing wrong with being critical “of the hand that feeds you.”

      2. And their in lies the problem. Everyone is distracted by the money making machine and not looking at all the issues that adversely affect the company …

  1. I see the easy solution to the developer’s dilemma about collecting customers information without their approval. The developers will just put 10 pages of boilerplate EULA crap that the user needs to read thru to find the part where they are collecting information from you and can do whatever they want to with our information. Nobody actually reads thru those long EULA documents, and the users will just click on the I acknowledge box. Poof!! Now the developers have permission from the users. That’s probably the whole reason all those EULA statements are so long in the first place.

  2. BTW… Doesn’t Google Maps share location data with third parties?

    Doesn’t Apple share location data with themselves? What if I don’t trust Apple either? What if I don’t want to be Apple exclusive?

  3. MacDailyNews. What’s with this pop-up from Amazon advertisement that blocks “your” app and you cannot get out of it and less you close everything down. Are you distributing our information to a third-party???

  4. This represents another HUGE opportunity for Apple to be an industry leader. I wish Apple would make a very simplified EULA/Privacy agreement and force the developers to use it. That way we aren’t faced with a document that hides its true meaning among multiple pages of legal BS and could actually have time to read and understand just one document; even with its expanding nature. I’d want the longest user facing version to be no more than one page.

    They could make it an active checklist type of document starting with just a few lines. Each developer then chooses to check the “yes” or “no” box at the beginning of each line. Answering the first few questions appropriately would mean they will neither collect nor will ever collect any user information. Period. The end. If they don’t agree to that then more detailed questions open up when the first ones are answered.

    Finally, I think this could be predetermined to fall within 3 categories such as: A, B and C where A equals 100% safe and private – a Marco Arment style of his recent update to Instacast policies (Bravo to Marco) and B and C as logical with any D rated app to require the user to acknowledge a very brief agreement, a one or two sentence warning, to even download the app and again, at its first use and with perhaps other periodic warnings in the future, but not to a bothersome degree. An F would not be allowed in App Store.

    This would allow users to easily determine what an app does behind the scenes before installing it. I see absolutely no reason this can’t be so simply solved. Furthermore, think of the thousands of dollars it would save developers in legal fees!

    Lastly, that Apple did not catch these data mining apps in the review process is troubling and signals that Apple also needs such a system so as to aid their reviewers.

    Why are there so many app updates? Several apps update weekly now as per routine. Could it be that they properly passed muster during the initial, perhaps more thorough review process and are slipping in data mining code during their updates? Anybody know?

  5. The fact that Apple initially allowed such apps is major suckage and disappointment, another Apple Bungle. But I’m pleased that at least Apple is cleaning up this particular mess. Bravo to whoever at Apple caught this Bungle and called it out to the sleeping execu-snoozers. There is hope for resurgence. Pester on!

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