Apple limits developer access to iPhone address book
Apple changed its certain rules of app store recently. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple updated app store review guidelines on what developers can do and can’t do with users’ contacts address book information. Previously developers were able to access user’s address book and use that information for marketing by selling contacts to make more money. From now on developers will not be able to access address book without the consent of users. Apple decided to change its guideline due to the recent incident of Uber data breach case and Facebook Cambridge Analytics Scandal. Apple CEO Tim Cook was critical of the way Facebook let third-party developers handle data this way.
Earlier developers were able to access information such as names, phone numbers, addresses, and photographs too. Now developers will not be able to use this information beyond the Apple’s control. Though Apple didn’t announce this new updated guidelines in WWDC Conference. Now Apple is taking steps actively. Still, company can’t go back and retrieve the data which have been shared already with developers. What users can do is after giving permission to a developer, a user can go into their settings and turn off the app’s contacts permissions.
Apple is taking many steps to increase the security and privacy of its platform. Apple also forbids developers from sharing data collected from apps to third parties. Apple’s recent guidelines clearly states – “Do not use information from contacts, Photos or other APIs that access user data to build a contact database for your own use or for sale/distribution to third parties, and don’t collect information about which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purpose of analytics or advertising/marketing.”
Apple announced many improved privacy features in WWDC Conference. Such as new Safari-based efforts to counter tracking, end-to-end encryption for group FaceTime calls, tools for generating stronger passwords etc.
With Apple’s updated guidelines might affect social networking mobile applications like – Uber, SnapChat, and Instagram. Apple and Google both have taken steps to improve app permissions. Apple also cracked down those apps sharing users’ location data without their consent. Let’s see what more Apple will do to improve privacy and security policies to protect users’ information.