Apple pulls Clueful privacy app from the App Store

By , Jul 20, 2012

It’s not uncommon for Apple to pull applications from its App Store without word or warning. Let’s just say the company doesn’t take security on its mobile platform lightly.

Typically, the removals are warranted. The apps are either malicious, violate copyright laws or other App Store guidelines. But with titles like Clueful, it’s not so cut and dry…

Clueful, by Bitdefender, is an iOS app that gives users an inside look at the information other apps are collecting behind their backs. And it identifies intrusive titles, so users can remove them or otherwise act accordingly.

Bitdefender’s Catalin Cosoi explains it better:

“App developers can ask for, and receive, access to your precise location, your contact list and more information about you when you install their products on your iPhone. Your iPhone is probably the most personal device you own, holding vast amounts of information about what you do, who you are and where you go.

While most app developers use this information for legitimate purposes, others might not. Clueful was the best way for iPhone owners to know what data apps are actually accessing.”

The app sounds honest enough, but obviously Apple had some issues with it. Word starting spreading around the internet yesterday that the company had pulled the privacy app without giving Bitdefender much of an explanation.

“Apple informed Bitdefender’s product development team of the removal — for reasons the company is studying — after initial approval and sale in the App Store,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.”

The removal comes at an interesting time, as Apple has experienced a number of privacy issues this year. It’s even gone so far as to add new privacy control features in iOS 6, in an effort to combat the problem.

And that, in itself, sounds like a good enough reason for Apple to pull Clueful from the App Store. The last thing the company needs right now is an application pointing out more potential security issues to the general public.

What’s your take on this? Was Apple right to pull the app?

[SecurityWeek]

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1109210251 Juan Vargas

    Apple is starting to act like the government.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      well they do have power like the govt.. it wont last though especially if iphone 5 fails to wow

    • christodouluke

      That’s complete crap man.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1109210251 Juan Vargas

        How is it crap?

    • http://twitter.com/oo7plasma Brandon

      well its their store…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1109210251 Juan Vargas

      I think if the developers are paying money to submit their apps and they are following the guidelines, apple shouldn’t just pull them out just because they want to implement their own solution.

    • EpicFacepalm

      *cough* Protect My Privacy From Cydia *cough*

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.gardner.73 Alexander Sir-Cheezitz Gardner

    I agree. apple is a disgusting company….

  • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

    But what was this app doing with the data it collected… Did this app send the data on.. Or was it just for your eyes only ?
    I don’t know I didn’t even know about this app .. So just asking

    • EpicFacepalm

      The only data they send is Application Names that are installed in your device so that they could analyze more apps. Installed via Installous (just was curious) and ProtectMyPrivacy didn’t even said this app requires your UDID. I also read their privacy policy.

  • @dongiuj

    Typical. Apple just deletes everything and anything to hide the slightest thing that doesn’t give them a squeaky clean image. What are you scared of apple?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1109210251 Juan Vargas

      I absolutely agree with you

  • christodouluke

    Wasn’t it pulled because it does the same thing as the upcoming settings panel?

    • http://twitter.com/Jack_maredit Jackson Grong

      True story…

    • http://www.facebook.com/alfre Alfre Fernandez Garcia

      Maby, but, this way, it hasn’t com through Apple.

      • christodouluke

        Woah man, I don’t think you used enough commas. What do you mean anyway?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1849765376 Jordan Rushing

    Mods won’t unfairly ban people for expressing their opinions they clearly asked for. I’ve yet to see an Android troll on this blog, at least, someone I can counter-troll.

  • DannyGGG

    It sounds like Apple did give Bitdefender a reason for pulling it, but that Bitdefender is keeping it quiet. They say in their statement “for reasons the company is studying…” And how does the author of this story think it’s a good enough reason for Apple to pull it: just so more attention is not called potential security issues? That is not a good enough reason.

  • @dongiuj

    If people were such fans of android then why would they even come to this blog? It’s people that use the phrase “trolls” that shouldn’t be on any blog.