Apple Starts Removing Apps That Share Location Data With Third Parties

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 9, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has stepped up its policy of removing apps from the App Store that violate its guidelines by sharing location data with third parties without explicit consent.

    As noted by 9to5Mac, Apple appears to have ratcheted up its software scrutiny in the last few days by informing affected developers by email that upon re-evaluation, their app violates two sections of the App Store Review Guidelines and will therefore be removed from sale:


    Apple's contention is that the apps in question don't provide enough clear information to users regarding what their data is used for and how it's shared once it's been collected. There also seems to be concern that the data collection isn't specifically for improving the user experience or enhancing app performance.

    The company's retrospective action is likely related to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which sets the rules for how businesses manage and share the personal data of customers.

    GDPR is a European Union rule to protect EU citizens, but as with its website cookie consent policy, basically every company with an online presence is affected by the law. An updated version of the GDPR goes into effect on May 25 to underline this applicability. Interested readers can find a summary of the key changes to the regulations here.

    Article Link: Apple Starts Removing Apps That Share Location Data With Third Parties
  2. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    Good, that is a shady practice of those apps in any case. What might spur more action is if Apple could let us know if we have already downloaded such apps so that we can make an informed decision to continue using them while an update may or may not be provided.
  3. Ted13 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2003
    Very glad to hear this. Just hoping MoviePass isn't one of them
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Fantastic news. Apple's view on privacy is getting more staunch as time goes on. Normally it's the other way around.
  5. nnoble macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2011
    Hopefully these initiatives by Apple will continue. As individuals we haven’t got a hope of avoiding app developers who aim to deceive.
  6. H3LL5P4WN macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2010
    Pittsburgh PA
    I'm just hoping it doesn't affect anything I currently have, ie nothing I've downloaded/bought has been leaching off me.
  7. RobaxMan Suspended

    May 1, 2018
    Apple acknowledges tracking iMessage metadata and sharing it with law enforcement

    In a document about Apple's iMessage system obtained by The Intercept, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Electronic Surveillance Support Team noted that when users enter a phone number into iMessage, metadata is periodically uploaded to Apple servers to check whether a text should be routed through iMessage or standard SMS. This material includes not just phone numbers but the date and time of the lookup, and the querying user's IP address.

    While the data doesn't include message contents, or even reveal when conversations happened, it could potentially be used to identify who a person is associating with, and/or trace an IP address back to a real-world location.

    Responding to The Intercept, Apple acknowledged the data collection, saying that it retains logs for 30 days and hands them over when served with a valid legal request. Because these orders can sometimes be extended in 30-day blocks, though, it's possible that some people are being tracked for longer durations.

    "When law enforcement presents us with a valid subpoena or court order, we provide the requested information if it is in our possession," Apple said in an official statement. "Because iMessage is encrypted end-to-end, we do not have access to the contents of those communications. In some cases, we are able to provide data from server logs that are generated from customers accessing certain apps on their devices. We work closely with law enforcement to help them understand what we can provide and make clear these query logs don't contain the contents of conversations or prove that any communication actually took place."
  8. bluecoast macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2017
    I had no idea that Apple even allowed apps to do this in the first place. I guess I was pretty naive and trusted them to do the right thing.

    Since the Facebook controversy and looking into GDPR, here in Europe, I'm really shocked as to how much our data is unprotected and used for all sorts of reason, without our direct consent being given.

    I hope that Apple really doubles down on privacy with iOS 12 and makes it its key feature. Here's hoping.
  9. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    FBI sting fake apps getting the boot? Unlikely.
  10. mejsric macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2013
  11. EVGabe macrumors member


    Mar 27, 2017
    Montreal, QC, Canada
  12. Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003

    But Apple should be consistent with applying its rules. They shouldn't have been there in the first place.

    GDPR, while for EU citizens, also benefits non-EU citizens. Excellent.
  13. pete2106 Suspended


    Dec 7, 2012
    Any app that uses your location is collecting and selling that data.
  14. n0m0n macrumors newbie


    May 14, 2011
    --- Post Merged, May 9, 2018 ---
    Presently is there a way for a user to find out which apps are in question?

  15. JosephAW macrumors 68000


    May 14, 2012
    One of the reasons I don't use Snapchat, requires "always on" access to the camera.
  16. Sasparilla macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2012
    Nice to see this. Would have been nicer to have bounced these guys before, but better late than never.

    BTW Apple, we'd really like to know who was violating this. ;)
  17. kerplunknet macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2006
    Why hasn’t Facebook been removed from the App Store then?
  18. RobaxMan Suspended

    May 1, 2018
    How much does Google pay Apple every year, to be the default search engine?
  19. Starlights macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2011
    Not likely. Monetising users data is a primary revenue stream for google. One pf the primary reason i moved from Android to IOS.
  20. guzhogi macrumors 68030


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    Like Starlights says in the below comment, user data is a valuable commodity. Unfortunately, some people and companies value making money over people's privacy. Kinda mad over the lack of privacy. I know some people want better ads/content targeting them, and don't mind giving personal information. But the companies at least be upfront about sharing your information and be an opt in service.

  21. neutralguy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2015
    Plus Snapchat! Please apple ban this app. It will save next generation!
  22. Jim Lahey macrumors 6502

    Jim Lahey

    Apr 8, 2014
    Great Britain
    There are no negatives to come out of this for users. Great stuff.
  23. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    They got lawyers, good lawyers, highly paid lawyers. It's a lot easier to grandstand against a bunch of noname developers than pick a fight with companies that can afford to fight back.

Share This Page