Apple has made it clear to the developers that they will have to stop recording user’s screens withouht their permission on the sly immediately.
Apple has warned its developers against using sessions replay frameworks to record user screens. That is not all as the iPhone maker has also made it clear that the developers will have to mend their ways or risk being banned from the Apple App Store.
Apple is also giving the developers a day’s time to remove the code that is enabling the app to record user’s screens. Apple further clarified this is being done to protect user’s privacy, something that the company never leaves a chance to proclaim is one of the top most priority for them.
Interestingly, Apple isn’t going for the outright banning of such practices. Instead, it has asked the app developers to record user’s screen only after they have obtained explicit user’s permission for the same. The apps will also be required to have on display a clear visual indication for the duration of the screen being recorded.
Until the above terms are met, any move to record user’s on-screen activity or logging will be considered as a clear violation of privacy terms and the particular apps will be liable to be removed from the App Store. Apple’s response to the development is also laudable as it was only yesterday that such practices came to light, how some apps were keeping a tab on user activity using sessions replay fireworks.
Such apps were found to have resorted to the services of experience analytics firms like Glassbox to record user activity. This way the app would have an idea of the sort of activity user indulged in while in the app and how long they kept themselves engaged in the app. However, while engaging in such activity without keeping the user in the loop is no doubt a violation of user’s privacy rights, what is further detrimental is the manner such info is often recorded without proper masking of user data.
This way, even sensitive info like credit card details or even passwords ran the risk of landing up in the hands of the wrong person. This could boil down to a huge security scandal had it not being for the timely action on the part of Apple. Let’s hope the developers comply to Apple’s regulations soon given that even notable apps such as Expedia, Hotel.com, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines to name a few were found involved in it. And we often can’t do without such apps.