Apple cracked down on how app developers can use data gathered about an iPhone users’ contacts, implementing changes to its App Store rules to limit the collection and sharing of the information.
When users grant apps access to their contacts, developers can obtain to a trove of information about the people on the list, including names, phone numbers, birthdays, addresses and even photos.
As noted by Bloomberg, though, Apple’s App Store guidelines now prohibit developers from using such information to build databases and advertising profiles which could be used for marketing or sold to third parties. The rules also prohibit apps contacting people using information collected from users’ address books, unless the app user specifically approves a message to an individual.
Additionally, Apple explicitly stated data collected by apps for one purpose cannot be reused for another without further consent. It added apps which share user data without approval risk being kicked out of the App Store and Apple’s developer programme.
The move is an attempt to prevent developers from gathering information about users’ friends, family and acquaintances without express permission from those contacts. It comes in the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal, in which information about millions of users was collected and improperly shared without consent.