Apple Prohibits Hundreds of iPhone Apps that Gathered Personal Info

17 November 2015

Jacksonville: We all know that the iPhone apps are known for security. Even the company says that, iOS platform has been designed with high-level security in mind. Security is definitely a major concern for every user; whether they are accessing the corporate information, storing personal photos, address and banking information, keeping them secure is very important.

Apple also says that the iOS devices are developed to provide users with high-level security without compromising in the user experience.  

But the latest news is that the company has forbidden hundreds of apps from iTunes as they were secretly gathering the users’ personal information. According to SourceDNA, among 256 affected apps, most of the apps were developed in China and they were available on iTunes across the world. It’s also been said that the affected apps have been downloaded 1 million times.

Apps built using Youmi’s SDK

  • According to the reports published on SourceDNA, the developers used a software development kit from a Chinese advertising company called Youmi which allowed the app builders to put ads on their apps. But the software is said to have gathered the personal information of users who download the apps (email address, iPhone serial numbers and so on). Apps were not just gathering the information but the gathered information was sent to Youmi’s servers, which passes the strict privacy guidelines of app developers.
  • The way Youmi designed the software hid the fact from app developers and also from the App Store gatekeepers. SourceDNA did not mention the name of the affected apps in its reports. It just notified the company with the problem, and Apple removed the affected apps from App Store the very next day. Apple stated that, it’s an act of violating the privacy guidelines, so the apps which are built using Youmi SDK will be removed from the App Store. The new apps submitted to App Store using Youmi SDK will also be rejected.

You might still be using the affected app!

  • The affected apps were removed from the App Store very recently and the company has not revealed the names of the affected app. There are chances of you already having that app on your iPhone. You can still use those apps but they will not receive the updates anymore. So, if you have not received the update for any app for quite long time, it might be the affected app. But it has to be noted that few apps are not frequently updated.
  • However, if you are able to update your apps, you are safe.  The affected apps are said to be banned from the App Store until they are fixed. This is the third major slip of Apple typically related to security in the past month. Just a few days ago, Apple had banned a group of apps which were able to peek into the encrypted communication between iPhones. Also in late September, iTunes suffered a major attack which forced Apple to remove dozens of apps from the App Store.

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