Apple is threatening app developers to either remove or disclose their use of a code that records users’ screens when using the app. Otherwise they’ll face removal from the app store.
An investigation by TechCrunch revealed companies like Expedia, Hollister, and Hotels.com were using third-party analytics tools to record users’ every action when using the app. None of these apps asked the user for permissions nor disclosed the information in their privacy policies. Glassbox is a cross-platform analytics tool used to replay user sessions and allows companies to integrate screen recording technology to “help reduce app error rates.”
Although sensitive data is supposed to be protected, some data such as credit card numbers and passports numbers were being leaked.
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.”
Google did not comment if it would also ban the screen recording code. Google Play prohibits apps from secretly collecting device usage in their policy, “Apps must not hide or cloak tracking behavior or attempt to mislead users about such functionality.”
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