Apple is defending its removal of certain parental control apps from the app store in a new statement.
The company was criticized for removing certain apps that were presented as tools that give parents more control over their children’s screen time, but Apple said it relied on technology that was too invasive for private use.
“We recently removed several parental control apps from the App Store, and we did so for one simple reason: they put users’ privacy and security at risk.” It is important to understand why and how this happened, “the company said in a release.
At the heart of the problem is the use of mobile device management technologies in parental control apps that Apple has removed from the app store, the company said.
These device management tools provide control and access to the user’s location, application usage, email accounts, camera permissions, and browsing history from one device to a third party.
“We began exploring this use of MDM by non-enterprise developers in early 2017 and updated our guidelines based on that work in mid-2017,” the company said.
Apple acknowledged that the technology has legitimate uses in the context of companies looking to monitor and manage corporate devices to control proprietary hardware and data, but, according to the company, it is “a clear violation of App Store policies, to a private sector, of consumers. ” The application business focused on installing MDM control on a customer’s device. “
The company said it communicated to app developers that they were in violation of App Store guidelines and gave the company 30 days to send updates to avoid being launched from the App Store.
In fact, we first reported that Apple was warning developers about screen time apps in December.
“Several developers released updates to align their applications with these policies,” Apple said in a statement. “The ones that weren’t removed from the App Store.”