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Apple Cracking Down On Apps That Send Location Data To Third Parties (9to5mac.com) 28

Apple has been removing some apps that share location data with third parties and informing developers that their app violates two parts of the App Store Review Guidelines. "The company informs developers via email that 'upon re-evaluation,' their application is in violation of sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines, which pertain to transmitting user location data and user awareness of data collection," reports 9to5Mac. From the report: Apple explains that developers must remove any code, frameworks, or SDKs that relate to the violation before their app can be resubmitted to the App Store. Apple's crackdown on these applications comes amid a growing industry shift due to General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, in the European Union. While Apple has always been a privacy-focused company, it is seemingly looking to ensure that developers take the same care of user data.

In the instances we've seen, the apps in question don't do enough to inform users about what happens with their data. In addition to simply asking for permission, Apple appears to want developers to explain what the data is used for and how it is shared. Furthermore, the company is cracking down on instances where the data is used for purposes unrelated to improving the user experience.

Apple Cracking Down On Apps That Send Location Data To Third Parties

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  • They already know where you are.

  • GDPR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khchung ( 462899 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @08:48PM (#56585064) Journal

    Wow, a law that seemed to be actually accomplishing what it intended to do! Who would have thought?

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )
      B-B-B-B-B-but Apple said that they didn't do this and automagically protected my datas. Only the great SatanDroid allowed this.

      Wow, a law that seemed to be actually accomplishing what it intended to do! Who would have thought?

      Amazing that, it's almost as if the EU cares about the safety and well being of its citizens.

    • Wow, a law that seemed to be actually accomplishing what it intended to do! Who would have thought?

      In the context of data collected by a third party app, it seems certain that the OS and/or hardware manufacturer is not a data processor or data controller within the meaning of the GDPR.

      So this has nothing at all to do with the GDPR. Sure the actual processors/controllers of the data -- here the app developer and whatever third-party services to which they are sending the data -- might be out of compliance, but that can't be Apple's problem.

      [ Think of it this way, if the GDPR considered the platform owner

    • Well, it is a European law and they've been known to value privacy there.

        It wouldn't fly long in the U.S. because there's no quick money in it.

  • So, no more Uber app?
    • It sounds more like apple is requiring their developers to be more up front and clear to the customer about what location information they are collecting who they are sending it to and why, as well as make them explain to apple why the user experience depends on being able to collect location information. Sounds to me like tinder, uber, pokemon go etc... all at most will need to add a bit more information in a pop-up to let the users know if the companies are doing anything with the information other than
  • Apple used to license a geographic map of WiFi SSIDs from Skyhook. Skyhook developed this map like Google did - by driving cars around the world and recording their GPS locations while sampling the SSIDs in range at that location. In 2010, Apple dropped Skyhook and began using their own SSID map database [f-secure.com].

    How did they develop this database without hiring people to drive cars all around the world? They simply recorded and downloaded iPhone users' location data, along with nearby WiFi SSIDs at each locat
    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Or perhaps, they found another company that drives cars around and does mapping stuff. Adding a WiFi receiver to a photo/video/GPS mapping car is easy and there are about a dozen companies that do it.

      • Perhaps they did. It would be trivial for Apple to confirm or deny. Why don't they want to remove the suspicions? What are they hiding?
        • You are the first person I've heard make any note of the suspicions. If no significant quantity or sources with a huge following are accusing them of something, making a statement to bring it up creates suspicion where there is none. Say for instance if you were looking up a local Chinese food restaurant, and they added to a front page of their site. "We just want to make clear, we do not use cat meat in our food. Here's a record of our actual meat order supplies to prove it". If you've never heard any ac
  • Why wasn't this caught and enforced during the app validation in the first place?

    More proof that a walled garden approach isn't any more secure to an open app environment.

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