Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Apple clarifies location-sharing rules for apps, removes offending software

Apple appears to have started cracking down on apps that share users’ location data with third parties without adhering to its rules about the practice. 

In emails saying that it has undergone a “re-evaluation” of the practice, Apple clarified that location data can only be shared with third parties if explicit consent is gained from the user, and then if the sharing is for approved purposes, 9to5Mac reports.

It seems that a number of apps have not been abiding by these rules, and as a result Apple has been removing them from the App Store, pending their developers bringing them into line with its rules.

In addition to gaining explicit consent to share this data, Apple appears to be keen for apps to specifically detail why this data is being shared.

Apple doesn’t appear to have changed its rules at this point; it’s merely doubling down on enforcing the rules it already has in place.

No doubt its decision to do this now has a lot to do with both the upcoming GDPR regulation, as well as the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal.

This scandal saw millions of users’ Facebook data shared without their consent via a third-party app, so it seems clear that Apple is making sure that apps on its own platform don’t fall foul of the same issue.

Whatever the reason, giving more information to users about how their data is used is never a bad thing, and if Apple catches a couple of rogue apps in the process then it will have done its job properly.

How do you feel about your location data being shared? Get in touch with us @TrustedReviews.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.