Apple phone users will no longer have access to parental control apps, as the manufacturer has stripped them off the Apple store. This feature is quite popular with Apple users.
Although many App developers suspect that Apple is scared of the competition, the phone company says it’s nothing to do with competition.
According to the New york times Apple had “removed or restricted” at least 11 of the 17 most popular screen time and parental control applications on the App Store.
In some cases the apps were completely removed from the App Store, while some developers were forced to remove key features.
Two of these apps – Kidslox and Qustodio – filed a complaint with the European Union, claiming that Apple was trying to stifle competition, following the launch of its own Screen Time feature.
Apple Screen Time, which launched in September 2018 as part of iOS 12, allows iPhone user to monitor how much time they and their children spend using their devices.
However, Apple says the timing is coincidental, claiming that the decision to remove the apps “isn’t a matter of competition. It’s a matter of security.”
The company said it began investigating apps that use Mobile Device Management (MDM) technology in 2017.
MDM gives a third party control and access over a device and its data – including the user’s location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions, and browsing history.
The technology does have legitimate uses. For example, it is often used by businesses to protect sensitive information stored on employees’ phones.
However, Apple claims that some apps designed for use by consumers were also using this technology.
“It is incredibly risky – and a clear violation of App Store policies – for a private, consumer-focused app business to install MDM control over a customer’s device,” Apple said in a statement .
“Beyond the control that the app itself can exert over the user’s device, research has shown that MDM profiles could be used by hackers to gain access for malicious purposes.
“Parents shouldn’t have to trade their fears of their children’s device usage for risks to privacy and security, and the App Store should not be a platform to force this choice.
“No one, except you, should have unrestricted access to manage your child’s device.”
Apple said app developers that were found to be in violation of its guidelines were given 30 days to submit an updated app.
Several developers released updates to bring their apps in line with these policies, while those that didn’t were removed from the App Store.
“There are many tremendously successful apps that offer functions and services similar to Apple’s,” the company said.
“We are committed to offering a place for these apps to thrive as they improve the user experience for everyone.”