Yesterday, it was reported that numerous popular iOS apps are capturing your activity in the apps without your permission. The apps record detailed data, including swipes, taps, and even full screen recordings.
The apps are from major companies, such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Air Canada, Expedia, Hollister, Hotels.com, and Singapore Airlines. The apps are using technology provided by Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm that allows developers to replay users sessions from their apps.
Today, Apple has told app developers that if their apps include this type of screen recording analytics code it needs to be clearly disclosed to users or removed from the app. If they don’t remove the code from the app, it will be removed from the App Store.
An Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch:
“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.”
At least one developer says they’ve been told to remove the screen recording code or their app would be removed from 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 app code in question is intended to allow developers to screenshot or record a user’s scree and how they interact with the apps. The apps record detailed data, including swipes, taps, and even full screen recordings.
None of the apps informed users that they were recording the user’s screen in their privacy policies. That is said to be in violation of Apple’s App Store rules.