iOS apps sharing location data to third parties might not be allowed in App Store

- Adrian Ungureanu
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It seems that the new legislation on personal data protection within the European Union, already known under the acronym GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), has made an impact with the American tech giant too.

Apple has passed the new rules on the use and transmission of personal data to app developers, and it appears that apps that transmit location data to third parties are in trouble.

Until now, if the user left the location feature turned on, they meant that they agreed that devs can use this information. Now Apple is reviewing the apps in the App Store, and some developers receive a notice from Apple that their apps are violating sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines which pertain to transmitting user location data and user awareness of data collection.

Apple asks developers to remove any components from their apps (code, framework or SDKs) that relate to the violation before their app can be resubmitted to the App Store.

In notifications to developers, Apple tells them that “You may not use or transmit someone’s personal data without first obtaining their permission and providing access to information about how and where the data will be used”.

There is an exception though: “Data collected from apps may not be used or shared with third parties for purposes unrelated to improving the user experience or software/hardware performance connected to the app’s functionality.”

It’s pretty clear, Apple is reviewing apps within its App Store, and those apps that do not comply with the new rules risk being taken down.