Apple promises to protect iOS users' contact data in future OS update

Letter from Congress spurs reaction

Apple promises to protect iOS users' contact data in future OS update
Apple has been busy enough as it is, moving to respond to bot farming allegations within its App Store while Clonegate still rumbles on in the background.

Now it has spoken out to assuage worries about apps capable of accessing user's contacts without permission.

Arguments had focused on the lack of a prompt built into iOS which would allow users to give or deny permission to certain apps to have that access.

Apple agrees, with spokesman Tom Neumayr telling AllThingsD of the moves to be made in future updates to rectify the situation.


"Apps that collect or transmit a user's contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines," Neumayr said.

"We're working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release."

These comments follow a letter sent to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, from House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Henry Waxman and Commerce Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee chair G.K. Butterfield.

"This incident raises questions about whether Apple's iOS app developer policies and practices may fall short when it comes to protecting the information of iPhone users and their contacts," the letter read.

"How many iOS apps in the US iTunes Store transmit information from the address book? How many of those ask for the user's consent before transmitting their contacts information?"

You can read the letter from Congress in full over at AllThingsD.

When Matt was 7 years old he didn't write to Santa like the other little boys and girls. He wrote to Mario. When the rotund plumber replied, Matt's dedication to a life of gaming was established. Like an otaku David Carradine, he wandered the planet until becoming a writer at Pocket Gamer.


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