The New York Times reported last week that Apple had removed 11 of the 17 most popular programs that help users restrict features or the amount of time kids spend on devices.
Monday 29, April 2019
(Bloomberg) --Apple said it removed several parental control apps from its store because of security and privacy concerns, issuing a rare public response to a media report that the iPhone maker was eliminating competition with its own tools.
The report by New York Times said that Apple started cracking down on such software after launching its own Screen Time feature last year, which also lets people set limits on certain iPhone and iPad functions and keep track of children’s usage.
That sparked anti-competitive concerns, as two app makers filed complaints with the European Union. But Apple said in a 500-word post on its website it removed the applications because they put users’ privacy and security at risk.
Apple said the applications it barred relied on a technology called Mobile Device Management (MDM), meant for enterprises that manage groups of devices for employees.
In a statement, Apple said that MDM gives a third-party control and access over a device and its most sensitive information including user location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions, and browsing history.
“that is a clear violation of App Store policies,” said apple, adding that it had gave the relevant developers 30 days to modify their apps, then removed those that were not adjusted.
The anti-competitive concerns may have prompted Apple’s quick response. In March, Spotify Technology accused Apple of giving its own music streaming service a leg up over the competition on the App Store.