It makes one wonder why Apple decided to take down BitDefender’s privacy app Clueful from its store. In the end it’s a pretty educational app, showing users the kind of information their apps gathered.
BitDefender’s privacy app had a short life in the Apple store. The app was initially approved and even enjoyed its launch in the App store just this past May. Clueful was until this June 30 available in the store for only $3.99. The app is still active on iOS devices that had it installed before Apple’s change of mind.
A statement from BitDefender reads Apple didn’t exactly bother with an explanation. “Apple informed Bitdefender’s product development team of the removal – for reasons we are studying – after it was approved under the same rules”. BitDefender couldn’t release much information also, given it had signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple.
“We are working hard toward understanding why our app was removed and to develop the app to improve its chance of staying there” reads BitDefender’sstatement.
Experts say it’s possible Apple decided to take down BitDefender’s privacy app for a violation of the company’s guidelines. Cnet.com writes that Clueful might have “violated a section of the company’s App Review Guidelines covering ‘incorrect diagnostic or other inaccurate device data’”.
It might also be that BitDefender’s Clueful is doing something the developers behind iOS 6 have worked on for a while. The new iOS version will be released in only a few months from now, but it will require apps to reveal the data they need to access.
Clueful gives users an analysis of what kind of data the apps they use on their iOS devices retrieve. According to a product description on BitDefender’s website, Clueful “looks at what apps are on your iPhone and then fetches privacy details about them”.
And don’t imagine there’s not that much concern about the data some apps are tracking. BitDefender published a report reading that 43% of the 60,000 iOS apps available failed to protect users’ personal data when it was transmitted. So personal information would be easy to track and even steal if you’re using an app that doesn’t encrypt data.