Apple Pulls Clueful, An App That Spies On Which Apps Are Loose With User Privacy

| Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Amidst all the privacy controversies plaguing Apple and apps like Path these days, one application aimed to identify which apps were gaining access to personal information. Bitdefender’s Clueful made it painfully easy for consumers to get a quick overview of which of their apps were sharing details with developers. The application also had a built-in tool to let consumers search for apps to find out if they were invading privacy before installing them on their phone.

Sadly, Apple’s yanked Clueful from the App Store. From the sounds of it, Apple’s taking a moment to “study” the application before either pulling it permanently or letting it back onto the App Store.

While we’re only sitting in the nosebleed section during this match, it’s painfully obvious what’s going on here: Clueful makes iOS look less secure than it may actually be, so Apple’s yanking the application.

Clueful gave customers the ability to see information like which apps were tracking usage patterns, which could read your address book, display ads, or track your location, and that looks plenty bad to the average consumer.

Apple has made it clear that they’re taking steps to rectify some of these problems in iOS 6, but right now, in iOS 5, plenty of applications act less than appropriately with my information.

Bitdefender, the company behind Clueful, has found that 42.5 percent of apps do not encrypt users’ personal data, and another 41.6 percent of applications track a user’s locations unbeknownst to the user. That’s pretty shameful.

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