APPLE HAS rolled out new rules to limit the way developers can use information about iPhone owners and their contacts.
The change, which rolled out with little fanfare, has seen Apple close a loophole which had previously allowed devs with the will to create databases from information whilst not requiring consent.
The issue is not dissimilar to one of the more chilling aspects of the recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal - users would give permissions for their data to be used, and developers would take this as implied consent to use the contacts in the address book.
Apple has been at the front of the queue to give a stern telling off to Facebook, but is now quietly implementing new rules that prevent the same thing.
Bloomberg points out that it skipped over announcing this change at the recent WWDC conference, where it instead Zuckshamed Facebook and showed its latest tactics to stop it from doing its data mining thing.
The new rules forbid sharing or selling information gathered, and indeed any practice which involves using that data for anything other than that expressly concerned with whatever-it-is that they asked for consent for.
Apple's actions are, like so many things, a Pandora's Box that's already open and no matter what it does now, it can only try to prevent future infractions. Millions of users' data is already out there for sale.
Speaking to Bloomberg, an iOS developer described the old system;
"The address book is the Wild West of data,'' the iOS developer said. "I am able to instantly transfer all the contacts info into some random server or upload it to Dropbox if I wanted to, the very moment a user says okay to giving contacts permission. Apple doesn't track it, nor do they know where it went.''
The new rules also serve to comply with GDPR legislation, which under the old rules would have left Apple at risk of spectacularly large fines. µ
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