Tech

Apple reinstates OurPact parental control app after its removal over privacy concerns

Apple Inc this week restored a software application to its App Store that let parents control their children’s iPhone usage after removing it in February, the company said Thursday.

The removal of the OurPact app was criticized by software developers who claimed Apple was shutting down their applications in favor of its own. 

OurPact was among a dozen other applications removed from the store.

At the time, Apple said it removed the apps due to data privacy concerns.

“We take this a positive sign that Apple is working in cooperation with us,” an OurPact spokeswoman said. “They realize device management solutions belong not only in the business world and in the classroom but in a family environment.”

Apple declined to comment.

Parental control apps have come under criticism for the amount of data they are able to collect on minors.

Apple announced updates to its store guidelines in June. App developers, including those of parental control, that gain access to users’ private information will need to make formal requests to have this capability. 

The feature is currently reserved for government and educational institutions, and in limited cases, parental control applications.

OurPact allows parents to remotely block and grant access to apps, receive notifications when their children download new apps and set other content controls on phones.

Before its removal, OurPact said it collected “very limited but standard anonymized” data for crash reports. The app has since been scaled back and has gained approval to use so-called “mobile device management” technology.

OurPact said it had more than 3.5 million downloads prior to its removal with 80 percent of its revenue coming from Apple.

Source(s): Reuters

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