Apple has made the decision to remove specific applications that have to due with data location sharing due to its violation against company policies with third parties when not given consent. The breaches that have to do with this application have to do with sections 5.1.1 & 5.1.2 of Apple’s App Store rules. These guidelines say that these application should not transmit users data location to other third parties without the consent from the specified user for purposes that the user did not know about. The developers that violated Apple’s company guidelines were given notices from Apple, informing the developer that the application were not complying to Apple’s rules and were under “re-evaluation”. The applications that violated these guidelines have not given clear information to people about what has occurred with the data that was given to third parties.
Apple’s clampdown seems to be related to the General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into effect on May 25th in Europe. Under the new rules, technology companies will need to obtain explicit and informed consent from a person they’re collecting personal data from. That means apps might need to ask for consent to your data more often, or highlight how they’re using your data in clearer ways.
In the notices sent to affected developers, Apple says those who want to reinstate their app must remove any code, frameworks, or SDKs that relate to location sharing with third parties, and resubmit the app for a review. Once approved, the app will be relisted on the App Store. Apple’s guidelines also state that, “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.”
It’s unclear how many developers or apps are affected by the recent clampdown. We’ve reached out to Apple for further comment and will update this post if we hear back.