Another Day, Another Example Of Apple Messing With Something Nice

It’s things like this that make me think that, in spite of all the great accessibility work they’ve done, Apple kind of sucks.

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.

This sounds like an awesome app. If I had an iPhone, it would probably be one of the first things I installed on it. It seems to provide the kind of information to which everyone should have access for their safety and security.

As usual when this happens, Apple isn’t saying why the app was removed, and the developers seem a bit confused as well.

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.

This is why it’s always a bad idea to give one group too much power. If this sort of crap didn’t happen seemingly as often as the sun rises I’d be willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe they have a good reason for doing what they did, but I’ve heard too many horror stories to do that. Have this and this for a start.

My old Nokia phone is slowly reaching the end of its days and will soon need replacing. Everybody tells me to get an iPhone, and in the end that’s probably what’s going to happen. As far as an accessible phone goes, I’m not sure it can be beaten at this point. It works out of the box and it isn’t completely cost prohibitive the way buying most phones and then spending another $300 for a screenreader is. But even with that going for it, I don’t much want one, and the garbage Apple spends so much time pulling on people is a big reason why.

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