Apple Does the Right Thing: “Any App Wishing to Access Contact Data Will Require Explicit User Approval”

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Apple has finally weighed in on the ongoing discussion about the recent discovery that numerous iOS apps (including Path, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) upload their users' iOS address books to their servers. In a statement to AllThingsD, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said that the company is "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.”

Apple also told AllThingsD that "apps that collect or transmit a user's contact data without their prior permission are in violation of [its] guidelines." Judging from this, it sounds as if Apple will add its own mechanism for requiring approval to iOS in one of the next updates.

I'm glad to see that Apple has finally clarified this. Until now, most developers apparently felt that this was a gray area, though quite a few already added explicit warnings to their apps when contact data was uploaded to their servers. Path, for example, quickly released an update to its app that added a warning and the option to opt out whenever users were about to send their data to its servers.

 

Frederic Lardinois founded SiliconFilter in 2011. Before starting this site, he wrote about 1,500 articles for ReadWriteWeb. His areas of interest are consumer web and mobile apps, as well as Internet-connected devices like cars, smart sensors and toasters. You can reach him at [email protected]

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