Apple has begun removing apps from the App Store that violate the company’s policies on sharing location data. These apps in question have been sharing user location data with third-parties, violating Apple’s policies under sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2.
The apps were not gaining “explicit consent” from users and at times, the users were unaware of what their data was being used for. Here is Apple’s official wording of the violation:
The app transmits user location data to third parties without explicit consent from the user and for unapproved purposes.
On top of removing some apps, Apple also sent notices to developers informing them that their apps violate the company’s guidelines. Once the code, frameworks and SDKs resulting in the violation is removed, developers can resubmit their app to the App Store for approval.
An exact number of apps or developers affected by Apple’s stricter stance was not revealed.
Apple’s refocused strictness comes on the heels of the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, going into effect starting May 25 in the European Union.
With a renewed focus on user privacy following the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica fiasco, Apple taking extra steps to protect user’s privacy is welcome. It’s a step that probably should have been taken a long time ago, but better late than never.