if you have an application on Apple's app store that has a screen recording function, you may have received an email warning from the company. If developers don't remove or properly disclose the use of analytics code for screen recording, Apple may remove their app from the store.
Via email correspondence, Techcrunch reports that 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.” They also added that developers have been notified that they "are in violation of these strict privacy terms and guidelines" and the company "will take immediate action if necessary." One specific developer shared this excerpt from the official email they received:
"“Your app uses analytics software to collect and send user or device data to a third party without the user’s consent. Apps must request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity."
These actions come after an investigation that revealed companies like Expedia, Hollister, and Hotel.com were using tools to record taps and swipes within the app. Techcrunch reported that none of those apps asked for permission from the user and none disclosed this information in their privacy policies.
App developers will continue to be under a microscope, especially with bigger companies like Facebook dropping the ball consistently when it comes to user security and privacy. Further, Apple would love not to run into additional issues similar to what happened with the Group FaceTime glitch that allowed users to manipulate the service to listen in on the private conversations of unsuspecting consumers. The Group FaceTime service has been restored for those that have updated their devices to iOS 12.1.4.
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