Apple defends the removal of certain apps that monitor screen time 2 months ago

Apple defends the removal of certain apps that monitor screen time

Those that didn't bring their apps into line with Apple's policies were removed from the App Store.

Apple has defended its decision to remove certain parental control apps from the App Store after coming under criticism for the initial decision.

The company has come under fire from developers for its removal of certain apps which described themselves as tools giving parents more control over their children’s screen time.

“We recently removed several parental control apps from the App Store, and we did it for a simple reason: they put users’ privacy and security at risk. It’s important to understand why and how this happened,” the company said in a statement.

Apple said the apps relied on technology that was too invasive for private use and the heart of the problem is the use of mobile device management in the parental control apps that Apple removed from the App Store.

"Over the last year, we became aware that several of these parental control apps were using a highly invasive technology called Mobile Device Management, or MDM. MDM gives a third party control and access over a device and its most sensitive information including user location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions, and browsing history.

"We started exploring this use of MDM by non-enterprise developers back in early 2017 and updated our guidelines based on that work in mid-2017," Apple said.

Apple also said that the issues were raised with the app developers, who were given time to bring their apps into line with the new policies.

“Several developers released updates to bring their apps in line with these policies,” Apple said in a statement. “Those that didn’t were removed from the App Store.”

However, OurPact was the most widely installed parental control app with three million downloads before it was booted from the App Store in February and said it received no warning.

"They yanked us out of the blue with no warning," CEO Amir Moussavian told the The New York Times."They are systematically killing the industry."