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Apple will limit data collection in children's apps; developers ask for new APIs

It seems that the stars chose May May to put Apple in an uncomfortable position with regard to its own defense without compromise from privacy from the user: We have had customer claims that the company sells iTunes data, game discoveries that share data that not even its developers know exists, and iOS features being leveraged by apps to capture consumer information.

Now the Wall street journal has published a story that once again addresses the growing problem of App Store applications that share user data without users knowing it themselves. Joanna Stern and Mark Secada tested 80 store apps, almost all featured in the “Apps We Love” section and found that all but one use trackers (third-party tools for capturing user data and thereby directing advertising to it).

One of the apps investigated by the pair aimed at children: Curious World, which, as discovered by the report, collects information such as the name and age of the small user, as well as the books he selected by sending all this information to Facebook. At no time do the developers evidence the collection and submission of this data.

The report then contacted sources within Apple itself, which secured the prospect of a change: According to them, Ma implemented new application privacy controls and reduced tracking and data collection on children's apps. Some of these news may be announced at the opening presentation of WWDC19.

The good idea, but perhaps as important or more important than limiting data capture is to implement a zero tolerance policy with apps that do not reveal what types of data they are collecting and who they are sharing it with. If we are on the internet, after all, because we know more or less how it works this totally anonymous browsing business is basically a utopia. At least then, let us know where our information is going.

Developers ask for new APIs

Meanwhile, another policy develops in parallel: 17 developers responsible for child-control apps, such as FamilyTime and OurPact, are pushing Apple to create new feature-related APIs. Use Time, a native iOS tool that allows parents and guardians to limit and monitor iGadgets of the little ones.

IOS 12 Usage Time

According to the developers, since the introduction of the feature in iOS 12, Apple has deliberately hampered the operation of third party applications, either by banning their functions or even completely removing them from the App Store. A survey made last month by New York Times revealed that Ma has “restricted or removed” 11 of the store's 17 most popular child control apps.

Ma's justification for such an event was that it was part of a larger company initiative to disable applications that abused developers' enterprise certificates, which we have already covered extensively here. The developers, however, were not satisfied, saying that many of them do not even use these certificates to ensure their apps work.

Enter the scene Tony Fadell, Apple's old strong name and considered the "father of the iPod." Taking the developer side, Fadell suggested that Apple create new Time-of-Use APIs that could be used by third-party apps, which in theory would allow users to reuse solutions. third party and make apps work fully again, but with features subordinate to the iOS framework itself.

The developers, excited by the idea, put up a website asking Apple to follow Fadell's suggestion, detailing a proposal for how these APIs would work for Ma, and wouldn't even have to work on developing an idea, as the developers themselves have thought of everything. .

They say the change would be beneficial for everyone: parents, who would have a wide range of child control products to choose from; children who would have access to safe and effective applications; Apple itself, which would ensure that apps would meet their security standards; and, finally, the developers, who would have the tools needed to continue developing their products and profiting from them.

For now, Apple has not commented on the matter, but it is expected that the company will give some signal about it at WWDC19, either at the opening conference or at any of the developer sessions.

via 9to5Mac