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Apple blocks apps that infringe data privacy

17 Feb 2012 2:29 GMT Back
Apple blocks apps that infringe data privacy
Tablet with Angry Birds game image

Also in the news

Apple has tightened rules over apps for iPhone and iPad that access users’ address-book data without their knowledge.

The move is a response to growing concerns that some social networking sites, including Twitter and Facebook, routinely collect and store contact data from a user’s device without gaining their explicit permission. 

Twitter acknowledged this week that anyone using its ‘Find Friends’ feature on iPhone and Android phones was also sending every phone number and email address in the user’s contact list to the company. 

Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said: “Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines. As we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release.”

All apps that upload this information will need to be updated to meet the new requirements, or be removed from Apple’s App Store.

A Twitter spokeswoman has said that in app updates coming soon, it will change the wording of its import function to be more explicit. 

Facebook has defended its contacts import function, saying it offers a clear step-by-step guide for users that requires their consent. 

Posted by 

Glyn Brown

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