Apple doesn’t allow developers to collect and share contacts data
According to AppleInsider, a virtually unnoticed change in Apple’s updated App Store audit guide during WWDC is that developers are prohibited from using the collected contact information to build their databases or share them without permission.
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that before the release of the updated guide last week, iOS developers would only need to obtain a preliminary license to collect contact data. iOS contacts can contain not just phone numbers and email addresses, but also other saved information such as photos and birthdays. “The address book is the Wild West of data,” an anonymous developer explained before WWDC. “I am able to instantly transfer all the contacts info into some random server or upload it to Dropbox if I wanted to, the very moment a user says okay to giving contacts permission. Apple doesn’t track it, nor do they know where it went.“
Under the new rules, developers are not only prohibited from creating, sharing, or selling databases based on collected contact information, but must also explicitly use contact data to express their opinions, unless they receive further permission.
Apple has dealt with privacy issues related to contacts in the past, most notably the 2012 dispute over Path. The application was found to have uploaded the contact list without permission. This incident eventually led to Apple launching some of the more restrictive restrictions.