Apple warns app developers over screen recording
Apple has given an ultimatum to all its app developers who secretly record the screens of the customers, to quit snooping or get kicked off the Apple store.
The company has taken this decision after TechCrunch reported about the apps like Expedia, Hollister, and Hotels.com who are using third-party analytics software to record a user’s taps and swipes on the screen.
The report also mentioned that none of the apps had prior explicit permission from the users to record screen activity or disclose that their apps use such software.
According to the report, most of these apps are using an analytics tool called Glassbox, which is also known as “session replaying,” it records all the user’s activity and they let snoopers replay how a user interacted with the apps. The tool is completely a violation of Apple’s privacy policies.
In a statement, Apple said: “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.”
However reacting to the claims, Glassbox has said that they are not interested in ‘spying’ on customers, but their goal is to improve the online experiences.
“Since its inception, Glassbox has helped organizations improve millions of customer experiences by providing tools that record and analyze user activity on websites and apps. This information helps companies better understand how consumers are using their services, and where and why they are struggling. We are strong supporters of user privacy and security. Glassbox provides its customers with the tools to mask every element of personal data. We firmly believe that our customers should have clear policies in place so that consumers are aware that their data is being recorded — just as contact centres inform users that their calls are being recorded.”