Recently, Apple has removed several screen time and parental control apps from the App Store for a very good reason; privacy and security. They’ve mentioned that parental control apps are not the problem itself, but it involves the technology they use. The Cupertino based company has issued a statement to explain more about the decision following reports claiming that the removal was due to competition.
The technologies used behind the apps removed from the App Store included a highly invasive tech called Mobile Device Management (MDM). MDM gives a third party control and access over a device and also some of its sensitive information, which includes user location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions and browsing history.
This is not to say that MDM is only used for exerting control on its users, it is far more than that. Some businesses would install MDM into their enterprise devices to have better control over proprietary data and hardware. However, having MDM installed in customer’s devices by apps is a clear violation of the App Store policies, as well as being a serious security concern for its users too.
The fact that giving the developers full access to such private information is a huge concern by itself, but hackers can also gain access to these MDM profiles for malicious purposes.
And for that, Apple has reviewed these problems and they have communicated these violations to the app developers, who were given 30 days to update their apps to avoid availability interruptions in the App Store. Apps that were not updated in line with the App Store policies are removed entirely.
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