Apple pulls hundreds of apps due to excessive user data collection
In this day and age where advertising is everything, it’s always shocking to open Facebook and notice that the company’s ads already know what I searched for a few minutes ago on Amazon. How these companies pull it off is a mystery for some, but as users, it’s hard to not be freaked out by this. Many OEMs have spent years fighting the way user data is manipulated, and Apple has just found a new challenge.
SourceDNA recently discovered that as many as 256 apps on Apple’s App Store were collecting more data than what was allowed through private APIs. Apple has strict guidelines as to what apps can ask you to collect, and what they can’t collect secretly, and the approval process is there to ensure it. Sadly it seems that a Chinese advertising company called Youmi figured out a way to push an advertising SDK that could secretly retrieve additional user info. The data collected includes device serial numbers, peripheral serial numbers, list of installed apps, your Apple ID email, etc.
As a result Apple has issued a statement and has quickly resolved to remove all the apps that use this SDK, in addition to reviewing its own approval guidelines for apps as well. It’s hard to predict how this will affect you in the long run given the SDK has been collecting as much as two years of data, but we’ll follow up as soon as we learn more.