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Apple amends policy to stop iPhone apps from swiping contact data

Apple remained silent as Path and other developers were called out for ostensibly stealing users’ contact data. Without asking for permission or even notifying users at all, these apps would transmit a user’s full address book to remote servers where the data would be stored for later reference. But as BGR mentioned in our post explaining how to prevent these sneaky apps from stealing contact data, Apple was partially at fault for letting these apps into the App Store. According to a statement Apple issued on Wednesday, this will no longer be the case. “Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines,” an Apple spokesman told All Things D. “We’re working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release.” It is unclear if or when Apple plans to remove apps already in the App Store that transmit Address Book data first without seeking permission from the user.

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Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.