Apple has been removing App Store apps that violate the company’s policies by sharing location data with third parties without consent, ahead of the new GDPR privacy rules, according to a new report.
The report, from 9to5Mac, cites an email sent to developers that their application is in violation of sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines.
The email reads:
“We are writing to let you know about new information regarding your app,” the email reads.
“Upon re-evaluation, we found that your app is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines. Specifically, we found: The App transmits user location data to third parties without explicit content from the user and for unapproved purposes.
“For this reason, your app will be removed from sale on the App Store at this time. To return your app for sale on the App Store, remove any code, frameworks, or SDKs that fall in line with the functionality described above and resubmit your app for review.”
This crackdown on these applications is due to the shift to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in Europe on May 25.
Under the new rules, tech companies will need to obtain explicit and informed consent from a person they’re collecting personal data from. Apple says that developers must remove any code, frameworks, or SDKs that violate the terms before their app can be resubmitted.
In addition, Apple wants developers to explain what the data is used for and how it is shared, as the crackdown is also targeting developers who use the personal data for other purposes unrelated to improving user experience.
Seperately, Apple is reportedly introducing a feature in iOS 11.4 called ‘USB Restricted Mode’ that will make it harder to law enforcement to extract data from stolen or seized iPhones.