Apple has reportedly begun removing apps from their store that share users location data with third parties.
Apple has reportedly begun heavily enforcing rules from sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 of the company’s App Store Guidelines, which state that apps in the iOS app store must not send “user location data to third parties without explicit consent from the user [or] for unapproved purposes.” 9to5Mac reports that Apple has begun contacting developers who’s apps violate the app store guidelines, telling them that “upon re-evaluation” their apps do not meet the necessary requirements.
This sudden crackdown on apps may be a result of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation laws set to come into effect on the 25th of May. Under the new laws, apps will need to obtain explicit permission if they plan to collect personal information on users and explain how they plan to utilize the data. In an email sent to app developers, Apple states that they must remove any code, frameworks, or SDKs that relate to the sharing of user data with third parties if they want to continue to offer their app for download in Apple’s store.
Apple finally decided to start enforcing guidelines on selling location data
— Thomasbcn (@Thomasbcn) May 7, 2018
It’s currently unclear how many apps will be affected by Apple’s sudden focus on user data, but the company’s guidelines state, “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.” This could apply to many apps currently in the app store and may prove difficult for app developers in the future.