Apple

Apple Stops Devs From Recording User App Activity

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Apple has ordered app developers to remove or make public their use of a code that allows them to record how a user interacts with their iPhone apps.

“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,” said an email from a company spokesperson. “We have notified the developers that are in violation of these strict privacy terms and guidelines, and will take immediate action if necessary.”

The announcement comes after it was recently revealed that companies like Expedia, Hollister and Hotels.com were using an analytics tool called Glassbox to record users’ movements while in the apps.

“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,” said a media report.

In addition, the report found that personal data that is supposed to hidden, such as passport numbers and credit card numbers, had been leaked. Apple also strictly prohibits apps that collect data without a user’s permission.

“Your app uses analytics software to collect and send user or device data to a third party without the user’s consent. Apps must request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity,” Apple said in the email.

The company has given the developer less than a day to remove the code and resubmit their app. If it fails to comply, it will be removed from the app store.

Reporters reached out to Glassbox to find out if it was aware of Apple’s announcement. A company spokesperson said that “the communication with Apple is through our customers.”

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