An affected developer posted a notice from Apple that he received on Twitter (see featured image) yesterday, 9th May, 2018
According to 9to5mac, Apple has already booted a number of offending apps from the App Store and has informed developers via email that their app is not in compliance with sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines, which relate to transmitting user location data.
However, this may also cause quite the annoyance for customers in addition to app developers – having some of their favorite applications shut down with no warning due to apps sharing location data.
In any case, Apple advised developers to remove violating and all unauthorised location sharing features such as; “code, frameworks, or Software Developer Kits (SDK)”, also provides them with more guidelines, in order to have them restored on the App store.
In the words of ValueWalk.com’s Zachary Riley, “While this may end up being a major headache for major developers, it’s probably a good thing in the end as it makes sure that the apps on the App Store are developed in a way that adequately informs users about how apps sharing location data actually affects them, as well as where that data is being transferred to. While many people were probably aware that Facebook was using their data in one way or another to turn a profit, the fact remains that the majority of us were not aware to the extent at which the company was improperly using information”.
Interestingly 9to5Mac‘s report notes the move comes just weeks the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law takes effect on May 25th, 2018. Although it’s unclear whether is Cupertino (The home of Apple located in California) cracking down on privacy-unaware apps to comply with GDPR, the firm is requesting that in addition to asking users for permission, developers also explain how they intend to use the collected data before sharing any information with third parties.
Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly introducing a feature in iOS 11.4 called ‘USB Restricted Mode’ that will make it harder for law enforcement to extract data from stolen or seized iPhones.