In the wake of the data privacy scandal the tech industry has been part of since the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica controversy came through, Apple is said to be cracking down on app developers that are in violation of its data collection guidelines. As per a new report, Apple is taking down apps that share location information with third parties. Violation of at least two sections of app guidelines is being used as a reason for removal of these apps by the Cupertino giant.
Several developers have received emails informing them about the violation of sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines, reports 9To5Mac. These guidelines, according to Apple's official support page, concern the transmission of user location data to third parties without the explicit consent of users, and for unapproved purposes. The email details that app developers will be required to eliminate SDKs, framework, or code related to the violation. Only after the removal of related code will the app be considered for resubmission to the App Store.
"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. 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," the guidelines say.
9To5Mac notes that in the instances that it has observed, the affected apps do not do enough to inform users about the procurement of location data and that it is being sent to third parties. The decision might also be, in part, influenced by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) that will come into force in Europe starting May 25.
Early last month, Apple App Store saw its 'first ever decline' in the number of apps on the App Store in the wake of Apple's strict crackdown on developers in violation of guidelines. Reportedly, iOS apps on the App Store dropped from 2.2 million in the beginning of 2017 to 2.1 million by the end of the year.