Shortly after receiving a letter from two U.S. Congressmen asking about Apple’s privacy policies within apps, Apple has responded by stating that they will begin requiring explicit permission to collect such data in the future, and that the issue will be fixed in a forthcoming update to iOS.
In a statement to AllThingsD, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr states:
Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines. We’re working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release.
iOS 5.1 has been in testing with registered iOS developers for quite some time, and may not be released until the announcement of the iPad 3, expected to be held early next month. It’s also unclear whether iOS 5.1 will address this issue, or whether the fix will be coming in a separate update.