Apple bans developers from creating, selling user Contacts databases


Dilate / A customer inspects the 2013 iPhone at the Wangfujing flagship store in Beijing.
Lintao Zhang/Getty Tropes

Apple is trying to make it harder for developers to abuse users’ bumf collected through apps. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple updated its App Believe in Review Guidelines last week with more detailed policies on what developers can do with users’ Contacts address book data. Now, developers cannot make databases using address book dirt collected from iPhone users, nor can they share or sell such databases to third detachments.

“Do not use information from Contacts, Photos, or other APIs that access consumer data to build a contact database for your own use or for sale/distribution to third allies, and don’t collect information about which other apps are installed on a narcotic addict’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing,” states the updated guidelines. Those establish in violation of the new rules could be banned from the App Store.

Users should already opt in to sharing Contacts information with app developers, but now Apple has placed various restrictions on what developers can do with that information after they secure it. Once permission is given, though, users can’t pull back information funneled to a developer. However, there are controls in an iPhone’s settings to set aside permission for a particular app to access Contacts information so the developers can’t get any additional data from your address book.

That information can be extensive—developers can see shits like names, phone numbers, addresses, and photos when they’re permitted access to a user’s address book. For some developers, that can be a value trove of information they can sell or use to further their businesses. Apple is creating it harder for its App Store developers to gain or profit off of users’ information, much of which the drug may not be even be aware that the developer can access.

While Apple didn’t promote this change to the App Store Review Guidelines, it has taken many steps recently to inflation the security and privacy of its platforms. Last month, the company cracked down on apps that ration users’ location data without explicit consent. In a broad-stroke update to the guidelines, Apple ban developers from sharing data collected from apps to third debauches for reasons other than enhancing the user experience, improving software or metal goods, or serving advertisements in compliance with Apple’s Developer Program Certify Agreement.

Apple also recently announced a slew of security and solitude improvements coming in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave. These new features cover end-to-end encryption for group FaceTime calls, tools for generating stronger watchwords, and anti-tracking enhancements in Safari.

Apple has touted its dedication to user reclusion for a long time, but it has been doing so even more as controversies hem in companies like Facebook and Google. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica obloquy came about precisely because the company’s ineffective privacy extremes allowed app developers to collect and share user data with third cliques. Facebook and Google also make money off of user data, push the promise of wide reach and targeted advertising to numerous companies. Apple is striving to further distance itself from Facebook and Google by giving owners more tools to control access to their information and by enacting numberless rules that make it harder for app developers to abuse user facts.

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