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Apple is reportedly pulling apps that share location data

Mariella Moon

Apple has reportedly started enforcing an App Store rule regarding location data more stringently. According 9to5mac, the tech giant has already removed a number of apps from the Store that share users' location to third parties without their explicit consent. In the letter it sent to the affected developers, Apple told them their applications didn't comply with Legal sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines. Those sections state that apps must not transmit "user location data to third parties without explicit consent from the user and for unapproved purposes."

Apple also told them they need to remove any code, framework or SDK used for location data collection and third-party sharing before their apps can be listed on the Store again. As 9to5mac noted, Cupertino has started cracking down on apps that violate its location data rules just before the EU's General Data Protection Regulation law takes effect on May 25th.

Other tech titans are also preparing for its implementation. Facebook, for instance, recently made its privacy policy easier to understand following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and will also ask users to review information on the way the website uses their data. Apple might have also started enforcing those specific sections in its guidelines after high-profile fiascos that involve user location, such as what happened to MoviePass. The subscription-based movie service's chief once proclaimed the company watches "how you drive from home to the movies." MoviePass quickly backtracked and ultimately removed the app's "unused" location features.

Whether Apple is truly doing this to comply with GDPR is unclear -- we've reached out to the company and will update this post when we hear back.

You can see Apple's whole letter below:

9to5mac

  • This article originally appeared on Engadget.