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Apple Removing Apps Sending Location Data Without Consent

May 13, 2018
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Apple is removing apps from the App Store right now that are sending location data without consent. If the apps are sending this location data to the third-parties without the knowledge of the user, then they are going to be removed.

This type of data collection without consent is violating a couple different sections of the App Store Review Guidelines. We have all of the latest news about how Apple is handling these apps that are in violation of the App Store guidelines. Keep reading to learn more about this crackdown and how it might impact you.

Apple Begins Removing Apps from App Store Which Share Location Without Consent

These apps that are sending out location data to third-parties without consent are in violation of the App Store Review Guidelines. Specifically, sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2, which all concern data usage, sharing of data, and the data collection in general. It appears that Apple is removing these apps from Apple’s App Store and then notifying the developers of the issues. Once Apple tells the developers that the app is being removed, the notice goes on to say that some work needs to be redone before the app can be restored.

Apple is telling the developers that are in violation of the guidelines to remove the frameworks. There also could be coding or SDKs that are transmitting this location data without consent of the user. So in order for these apps to be restored to the App Store, the developers must stop transmitting the location data to the third-party apps. That is the rule unless the user gives consent for collecting and transmitting this data. This includes giving consent to the third-party apps. This new crackdown on the App Store is coming at a time when the new General Data Protection Regulation out of Europe is set to go into effect.

Apple Removing Apps in Violation of Location Data Collection Rules

The General Data Protection Regulation, also known as GDPR, is a crackdown coming out of Europe. This craskdown relates to how personal information is handled. Specifically, the GDPR requires that a user give consent in order for location data and other data to be collected. A lot of location data can be tied back to a specific person. That is why getting consent first is so important. There are also a lot more rules relating to how that data and personal information can be used.

A company has to get consent before collecting and using this data. The problem is that many companies and firms have not followed the rules. Nothing really was ever done about it when developers were in violation. You might remember that there have been several high-profile cases of data going into third-party hands lately. The user was not notified or given the option to give consent beforehand in most of these cases.

Location Data Rules Clearly Stated in the App Guidelines

We do not know if the General Data Protection Regulation out of Europe is why Apple is suddenly now worried about getting consent about the user data. It could also be just Apple finally being ready to enforce all of these rules that are on the books. Both Section 5.1.1 and Section 5.1.2 are important to follow when it comes to how user consent has to be obtained first.

In 5.1.2, the rules are that you cannot use or share data collected with any third-party apps. That is the rule, unless it is specifically going to help the user experience. It would have to be useful for the functionality of the app in order to comply. If it is useful for advertising purposes that is okay too. Either way, it must all follow the License Agreement as part of the Apple Developer Program.

Are the Removal of Apps by Apple Good for Location Data Concerns?

We want to hear from you regarding the location data concerns that seem to be plaguing apps on Apple’s App Store. Do you think removing these apps is a good idea for Apple? The rules right now mean the apps are being removed and then the developer is notified.

On that note, do you think that will clear up confusion app developers have when it comes to location data rules? It seems that there are many different privacy issues happening these days. Do you really think that apps are not wrongly using your data? Tell us your thoughts and opinions on the collection and sharing of personal information through apps.