Apple has updated its App Store guidelines to include a significant change. The new changes ban developers from making any database from the contacts of an iPhone user. Updated guideline clarifies that developers can’t use contacts, photos or any other APIs to access “user data to build a contact database”. This prohibits the developers from selling that database or distributing it to any third party. The company clarifies that developers can’t even check which other apps are installed on an iOS-powered device in any analytics, marketing, or advertising related activity.
This change was first spotted by Bloomberg and it is likely to close the loophole that allowed developers to make their own databases of contact details and then sell it or distribute it to third parties without any consent from the user. The company went further to add that developers are no longer allowed to use any information that they manage to collect from a user’s Contacts or Photos section except for when the iOS device owner explicitly trigger the action. This comes right after Apple banned cryptocurrency mining on its devices.
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According to the updated guidelines, Apple now bans all the apps that mine cryptocurrency on its devices. This new ban is not limited to iOS and extends to all the device platforms that the company supports including macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. The new rules clarify that apps will not be banned if the mining, the actual “processing is performed off device”. The refers to “cloud-based mining” to ensure that the app is power efficient.
It would still allow cryptocurrency wallet apps given that the developers are enrolled as part of the organization. This means that there will be no third-party cryptocurrency wallet apps. The company also added a new rule where only the apps offered by cryptocurrency exchanges would allow Apple users to carry out cryptocurrency-related transmissions and transactions.