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Apple tells developers to remove screen recording codes or be pulled from the App Store

By Kenny Yeo - on 8 Feb 2019, 9:47am

Apple tells developers to remove screen recording codes or be pulled from the App Store

(Image source: Macrumors)

It was revealed in a report yesterday that multiple iOS apps from major companies were using "intrusive analytics services" that capture users' data without their knowledge.

According to the report, apps that do this include Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com, Air Canada, Hollister, Expedia, and Singapore Airlines. And the code that they are using comes from Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm.

The captured data includes taps, swipes, and even full-screen recordings. There is even a session replay technology that allows developers to playback a user's session with the app showing their taps, swipes, and even their keyboard entries which could include sensitive information like addresses, and even passport and credit card numbers.

After being alerted to this, Apple has reportedly told developers to either remove or properly disclose the use of analytics code to users. Failure to comply would result in the app being pulled from the App Store.

An Apple spokesperson said:

Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem. Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity. We have notified the developers that are in violation of these strict privacy terms and guidelines, and will take immediate action if necessary.

Glassbox has since released a statement and said that while this raises valid concerns, their primary goals are "to improve online customer experiences and to protect consumers from a compliance perspective."

While Glassbox's goals are reasonable, users are understandably squeamish about their data being recorded given the number of high-profile security lapses in recent times.

Personally, I have no qualms about my sessions being logged but I have my doubts that these companies can properly protect and obfuscate users' important personal details so that it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

Source: Techcrunch, Macrumors