A lot of hotel, airlines and bank apps were said to be indulging in this unethical practice.
Apple has come out strongly on apps that are said to have been secretly recording the screens of iPhones.
Taking note of news reports about a bunch of iOS apps recording users’ iPhone screen with their apps, without taking prior permission from them or without notifying them, surfaced online.
The company has cracked down on such apps and has asked them to either stop involving in such unethical practices or to be ready to be taken down from the App Store.
Among the apps that have been asked to do so are popular iOS apps such as Air Canada and Expedia after they were found to be recording user actions.
“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,” technology website Tech Crunch quoted an Apple official as saying.
“We have notified the developers that are in violation of these strict privacy terms and guidelines, and will take immediate action if necessary,” the official added.
Earlier this week, it was reported that a few popular apps were recording user actions without informing the user about it. To record the phone screens, these apps were apparently using an analytics software called Glassbox, which deploys session replaying into the apps being used by the iPhone owners.
With the help of the technology, every action taken by a mobile user on an app can be recorded. These actions also include entering sensitive financial information and none of these apps requires permission from the users to do so.
A lot of hotel, airlines, and bank apps were said to be indulging in this unethical practice even while the users did not have any knowledge about the apps collecting their data and what were they planning to do with their data.
Apple has contacted the concerned app developers and has asked them to remove the code used to record screens or to disclose it properly to the end user and ask for consent.
The company has responded so strictly that it has given less than a day’s time to these developers to make the necessary changes and resubmit the apps. If they fail to do so, the respective apps will be taken off the App Store.
“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,” the company told the app developers in an email.