Apple Is Killing Apps That Share Your Location Data Without Consent

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Apple has begun removing applications that share location data with third parties, according to a new report from 9to5Mac.

The iPhone maker is thought to be taking a tougher stance on applications that distribute this information without the consent of users.

While the report doesn’t name particular apps, it’s believed that Apple has taken action against a string of developers for violating the App Store Review Guidelines.

Reportedly, the company issued several developers with an emailing saying their applications violated sections 5.1.1. And 5.1.2 of the App Store after conducting an evaluation.

“The app transmits user location data to third parties without explicit consent from the user and for unapproved purposes,” state the rules.

Developers that breach these guidelines can only re-apply for their app to be listed in the App Store after removing violating code, frameworks or SDKs.

One of the big issues here is that companies aren’t doing enough to explain why and how they’re using people’s data. Apple wants to change this.

“You may not use or transmit someone’s personal data without first obtaining their permission and providing access to information about how and where the data will be used,” writes the firm.

“Data collected from apps may not be used or shared with third parties for purposes unrelated to improving the user experience or software/hardware performance connected to the app’s functionality.”

Apple Remove Apps Location Data
Image via Twitter @Thomasbcn

It’s likely that Apple has made these changes in order to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which is set to come into force on May 25th.

The law is aimed at giving EU citizens and residents more control over their personal data. It’ll also transform the way companies export European data.

Speaking to Recode in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica debacle, Apple boss Tim Cook said the firm takes user privacy seriously. “We are for privacy. Your information is yours and you should keep it,” he said.

“The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer, if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that.”

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