Apple cracks down on apps sharing information on users’ friends

“Apple Inc. changed its App Store rules last week to limit how developers harvest, use and share information about iPhone owners’ friends and other contacts,” Sarah Frier and Mark Gurman report for Bloomberg. “The move cracks down on a practice that’s been employed for years. Developers ask users for access to their phone contacts, then use it for marketing and sometimes share or sell the information — without permission from the other people listed on those digital address books.”

“Sharing of friends’ data without their consent is what got Facebook Inc. into so much trouble when one of its outside developers gave information on millions of people to Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy,” Frier and Gurman report. “Apple has criticized the social network for that lapse and other missteps, while announcing new privacy updates to boost its reputation for safeguarding user data. The iPhone maker hasn’t drawn as much attention to the recent change to its App Store rules, though.”

“As Apple’s annual developer conference got underway on June 4, the Cupertino, California-based company made many new pronouncements on stage, including new controls that limit tracking of web browsing. But the phone maker didn’t publicly mention updated App Store Review Guidelines that now bar developers from making databases of address book information they gather from iPhone users,” Frier and Gurman report. “Sharing and selling that database with third parties is also now forbidden. And an app can’t get a user’s contact list, say it’s being used for one thing, and then use it for something else — unless the developer gets consent again. Anyone caught breaking the rules may be banned.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And iOS users get even more privacy and security while fragmandroid sufferers get the shaft, as usual.


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