Apple tells iOS app developers to disclose or remove screen recording code

“Apple is telling app developers to remove or properly disclose their use of analytics code that allows them to record how a user interacts with their iPhone apps — or face removal from the app store, TechCrunch can confirm,” Zack Whittaker reports for TechCrunch. “”

“In an email, an Apple spokesperson said: ‘Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem. Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity,'” Whittaker reports. “‘We have notified the developers that are in violation of these strict privacy terms and guidelines, and will take immediate action if necessary,’ the spokesperson added.”

“It follows an investigation by TechCrunch that revealed major companies, like Expedia, Hollister and Hotels.com, were using a third-party analytics tool to record every tap and swipe inside the app. We found that none of the apps we tested asked the user for permission, and none of the companies said in their privacy policies that they were recording a user’s app activity,” Whittaker reports. “Apple expressly forbids apps that covertly collect data without a user’s permission.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Excellent.

As we wrote earlier today, “If session replay, which has legitimate uses, is being used in an app, the app’s users should be clearly informed and asked for their consent. All data transmitted from the user’s device to the developer should obviously be properly secured, as well.”

Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly. I’m an optimist; I believe people are smart, and some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data. — Steve Jobs

SEE ALSO:
Yes, apps that record your screen are normal – February 7, 2019
Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking for permission – February 7, 2019

7 Comments

  1. Apple needs to actually just permanently ban a few to make a point. Not give them a chance to say, whoops – sorry won’t happen again.

    This is where the differences in management styles between Tim and Steve really become apparent.

    Ban a few and it really ‘won’t’ happen again.

    1. @James

      That’s because when app developers do business with Cook it’s like hooking up with a hooker, it’s basically “pay to play.”

      For 10-billion a year, Google is given carte blanche to all our iOS data; all of before, during, and well after our usage sessions.

      There’s no telling what kind of deals that greedy Cook had in place with these developers. Cook just got caught.

      One scandal after another. This guys is worse than both Clintons COMBINED.

      When will the board finally realize that Tim Cook is bad for apple.

      1. Something seems to wrong with Zerorandy’s keyboard. All that ever comes out is bullshit.

        Mr Zerobrain, I’ll try to put this as nicely as possible:
        Fuck off.

  2. “We will take immediate action if necessary.”

    Lol. Immediate action means now. You don’t reference immediate action in the future tense. Otherwise it’s not immediate.

  3. Only about 12 years into iOS app development did someone at Apple think to protect users from this creepy spying?

    I’m sorry, but Apple’s claims of working hard to protect user privacy ring hollow. Apologists will shrug it off and say Apple is still the best so whatever we should all just accept this spying. That is absurd. This is saying that as long as you are a hair less evil than an axe murderer or as careless as a drunk driver and your spousal abuse is less severe than your wife beating neighbor, then all is good.

    Well okay, let’s give Apple the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say Pipeline is a puritan devoted to giving users privacy and complete control over their accounts and devices and data trails. If that was true, wouldn’t your Apple preferences menus look different? Wouldn’t you iPhone allow you to see who is streaming data to and from your device and log it for you to see? Well Apple is too busy avoiding hard work and instead delivering emoji. Others have pointed out chinks in Apple’s armor. I fear before Cook is done with the company all that will be left of the once-impressive Mac security reputation will be another Pipeline promise to do better someday. All it takes is a few bad hires from Facebook or Google and Apple could corrode rapidly from within. We all know clueless Pipeline wouldn’t spot evil within his own company until they completely cored what is left of what used to be a nice solid Apple. Proof: Project Titan will never see the light of day for many reasons, but the biggest reason is because IP thieves inside Apple ripped off anything of value.

    Timmy isn’t even smart enough to recognize that Human Resources and Retail are best operated by people with entirely different capabilities and personalities. What gives anyone the confidence that Pipeline can manage security, products, prices, sales, people, facilies, research, strategy, investor relations, or anything else? He’s weak in everything that a CEO is supposed to do!!!!

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