Today we bring you both good and bad Apple news. Let’s get the bad news out of the way: there are apps in Apple’s App Store that share your location data with third parties.
The good news is that Apple has now apparently started to crack down on these apps. The company is busy removing these applications and informing the developers that their apps are violating two sections of the Review Guidelines.
Several cases of Apple cracking down on this kind of app have so far been reported. The company sends an email to developers which states that ‘upon re-evaluation’ their app has been found to violate section 5.1.1 as well as section 5.1.2 of the company’s guidelines related to user awareness regarding information collection and sending user location info to third parties.
Sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 state that “The app transmits user location data to third parties without explicit consent from the user and for unapproved purposes.”
The email from Apple explains that the app developer will have to remove all frameworks, code or SDKs involved in the violation before they can re-submit the app for inclusion in the App Store.
Apple’s tough stance against data collection comes at a time when Europe is implementing new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). To be fair, the company itself has always claimed to highly value user privacy – but apparently it didn’t always enforce its own strict guidelines when it came to app developers.
In some instances, the offending apps do not clearly inform users about the way their data is handled. Apart from requesting user permission for collecting data, Apple now wants developers to clearly set out how user data is shared, and to what ends it will be used.
Apart from that the firm is reportedly also cracking down on cases where data is used for purposes that are not related to enhancing user experience.