Apple has locked Guilherme Rambo out of his developer account since September

Guilherme Rambo for

I’ve been unable to access my Apple developer account since August… Determined to get someone on the phone, I used my employer’s developer account to be able to reach the phone support page, where I entered my number. Developer support then called me, and I gave my previous case number to a nice person on the other end of the phone, who explained that my case had been escalated to a supervisor, who then escalated it to their supervisor, and that I would hear back from them “soon”. This was in mid September. In early October, I called again and was told I would receive an e-mail explaining the situation, I haven’t.

More recently, I tried calling again and got to talk with a supervisor, who said I would be getting an e-mail with instructions to get my access restored. During the call, they told me my developer account is currently “inactive”. I followed up over e-mail a couple of days later and got a generic response that “the internal team is still investigating the issue” and thanking me for my patience.

Like I mentioned before, the problem began in August. So far I’ve tried every possible private communication channel before deciding to make this story public. It’s worth mentioning that I didn’t get any e-mail or call from Apple warning about any sort of action being taken against my developer account. Apple always says that “running to the press doesn’t help”. Unfortunately, they haven’t responded in any way, even when I tried reaching out through internal contacts that I have. So the only option I have left now is to “run to the press”.

John Gruber, Daring Fireball:

It’s bad enough that his developer account has been disabled for nearly three months. It’s downright Kafka-esque that he hasn’t been told why and can’t get an answer from Apple.

Pure speculation on my part, but unsaid in Rambo’s write-up of this story is that he’s not just any random developer. Rambo is extraordinarily talented at what I would describe as digital spelunking…

MacDailyNews Take: Ah, the value of pen names (or no names at all) reaffirmed yet again.

Here are some recent articles covering the results of Guilherme “digital spelunking” efforts:

• Image in macOS Catalina 10.15.1 confirms 16-inch MacBook Pro Touch Bar and Touch ID layout – October 30, 2019
• Apple’s rumored tracking tags named ‘AirTag’ in iOS 13.2 – October 28, 2019
• iOS 13.2 beta contains icon for new noise cancelling AirPods – October 3, 2019
• Leaked screenshots reveal new Music and TV apps for Mac – May 29, 2019
• Apple’s iOS 12.2 beta references new ‘Apple News Magazines’ subscription service – January 25, 2019

The Apple Developer Agreement reads in part:

Unless expressly permitted herein or otherwise permitted in a separate agreement with Apple, you may not modify, publish, network, rent, lease, loan, transmit, sell, participate in the transfer or sale of, reproduce, create derivative works based on, redistribute, perform, display, or in any way exploit any of the Site, Content or Services. You may not decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, or attempt to derive the source code of any software or security components of the Services, Site, or Content (except as and only to the extent any foregoing restriction is prohibited by applicable law or to the extent as may be permitted by any licensing terms accompanying the foregoing)…

Except as otherwise set forth herein, you agree that any Apple pre- release software, services, and/or hardware (including related documentation and materials) provided to you as an Apple Developer (“Pre-Release Materials”) and any information disclosed by Apple to you in connection with Apple Events will be considered and referred to as “Apple Confidential Information”.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, Apple Confidential Information will not include: (a) information that is generally and legitimately available to the public through no fault or breach of yours; (b) information that is generally made available to the public by Apple; (c) information that is independently developed by you without the use of any Apple Confidential Information; (d) information that was rightfully obtained from a third party who had the right to transfer or disclose it to you without limitation; or (e) any third party software and/or documentation provided to you by Apple and accompanied by licensing terms that do not impose confidentiality obligations on the use or disclosure of such software and/or documentation. Further, Apple agrees that you will not be bound by the foregoing confidentiality terms with regard to technical information about Apple pre- release software, services and/or hardware disclosed by Apple at WWDC (Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference), except that you may not post screen shots of, write public reviews of, or redistribute any such materials…

Nondisclosure and Nonuse of Apple Confidential Information. Unless otherwise expressly agreed or permitted in writing by Apple, you agree not to disclose, publish, or disseminate any Apple Confidential Information to anyone other than to other Apple Developers who are employees and contractors working for the same entity as you and then only to the extent that Apple does not otherwise prohibit such disclosure. Except for your authorized purposes as an Apple Developer or as otherwise expressly agreed or permitted by Apple in writing, you agree not to use Apple Confidential Information in any way, including, without limitation, for your own or any third party’s benefit without the prior written approval of an authorized representative of Apple in each instance. You further agree to take reasonable precautions to prevent any unauthorized use, disclosure, publication, or dissemination of Apple Confidential Information…

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Apple may terminate or suspend you as a registered Apple Developer at any time in Apple’s sole discretion. If Apple terminates you as a registered Apple Developer, Apple reserves the right to deny your reapplication at any time in Apple’s sole discretion.


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