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Apple boots privacy name-and-shame app Clueful from store

iPhone fans denied right to know what's fondling their data

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Apple has pulled from its App Store a utility that revealed how the software installed on iPhones is fondling punters' data.

The Clueful app was created by security company Bitdefender and approved to go on sale in May. However, the privacy tool was yanked this week for reasons that are unclear.

Clueful analyses apps installed on an iPhone, and then names and shames those misusing fanboi data. A study of 60,000 popular apps found, for example, that 42.5 per cent do not encrypt users’ personal information, even when sending it over public Wi-Fi. Two in five programs can track a user’s location, and almost one in five apps access the entire address book on an iOS mobe.

It is unclear why Apple removed Clueful. As ever, the Foxconn-marketing biz chose not to comment on its App Store ruling.

Bitdefender said "Apple informed our product development team of the removal - for reasons we are studying - after it was approved under the same rules". The Reg pushed for more details on the notice to no avail.

It's possible some fanbois were misusing Clueful or that other app developers complained about it. Perhaps Apple took exception to Bitdefender's claim that its code can "find out what your iOS apps are really doing", although that would be inconsistent with their previous decision.

As with other applications removed from the App Store, Clueful will continue to work for people who have already downloaded it. But it may cease to work if an iOS update rolls in and breaks the software.

Apple's software review process is famously opaque, with some odd decisions over the years. ®

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