Apple Begins Removing Apps That Share Users’ Location To Third Parties

Kyle Perisic | Contributor

Amid growing calls to regulate the tech industry to protect users’ privacy, Apple has begun to crackdown on applications that share users’ locations to third parties without their consent.

Apps that share users’ locations without their consent violate Apple’s terms of service — specifically, sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines.

“Apps that collect user or usage data must have a privacy policy and secure user consent for the collection,” section 5.1.1 of the guideline states. “You may not use or transmit someone’s personal data,” section 5.1.2 states, “without first obtaining their permission and providing access to information about how and where the data will be used.”

Apple sent an email out to one app developer, saying that “upon re-evaluation” their app violated its guidelines.

In order to get their app back into the App Store, the developer must “remove any code, frameworks, or [software development kits]” that fall in line with Apple’s guidelines.

The move to remove these apps comes after a law passed in the U.S. and abroad have effectively globally universalized data protection because of the general

Meaning, Apple in the U.S. is now enforcing a new addition to a 2016 European Union regulation, called the General Data Protection Regulation, that goes into effect May 25 2016 in the European Union which protects users’ data from being exported without their consent.

Several application developers have privately mentioned that their app has been taken down, 9to5Mac reported, but it’s unclear how many apps Apple has removed specifically for this reason.

The App Store saw its first ever decline in the number of apps in 2017, however, it’s when the company began to clamp down on apps violating its guidelines. It’s estimated that 2.1 million to 2.2 million apps were removed.

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