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广场舞又见山里红背面:下架多款应用苹果垄断?苹果称有隐私风险,开发者回应“误导”

军情观察 发布时间:2019-05-06 阅读:

在美国区苹果商店App Store里,最受欢迎的17款屏幕使用时间和父母控制应用中,有11款已被苹果删除或限制上架。这些应用程序开发商认为,正是因为苹果自己推出了屏幕使用时间控制应用,形成了竞争,所以被强制删除和下架。

苹果则表示,这些应用程序——尤其是父母控制应用程序被移除,是因为它们使用了移动设备管理技术,这项技术允许第三方访问“用户位置、应用程序使用、电子邮件账户、相机权限和浏览历史”等信息。换句话说,苹果表示,删除这些应用程序是为了保护用户隐私。究竟是苹果垄断竞争,还是保护客户隐私?苹果和相关应用程序开发企业目前仍争执不下。

在《纽约时报》(New York Times)最近的一篇报道称,苹果删除或限制了17个下载量最多的家长控制和屏幕时间应用程序中的11个,并取缔了其他应用程序,理由很简单:“它们将用户的隐私和安全置于风险之中。”

但竞争对手认为,这是出于竞争目的,因为苹果在2018年9月推出了自己的屏幕时间工具,作为iOS 12的一部分。

应用程序被删除的公司之一OurPact回应苹果称,苹果的声明具有误导性。该公司在Medium网站发布声明《曾经有一个应用程序可以做到这一点》(There Used To Be a App For That),表示这个问题主要聚焦移动设备管理技术。苹果在声明中称,移动设备管理技术具有“高度侵入性”,因为它让第三方“控制和访问设备及其最敏感的信息,包括用户位置、应用程序使用、电子邮件账户、相机权限和浏览历史”。虽然苹果补充说移动设备管理技术有一些合法的用途,但同时表示,该技术风险极高,可能被黑客用于恶意目的。

OurPact公司的回应反驳称:“苹果的声明与移动设备管理技术最初是由苹果开发的,目的是确保远程管理设备上的私有数据的安全性这一事实相矛盾。”该公司还指出,苹果自己的文档中指出,通过移动设备管理技术,并不能看到电子邮件、日历、imessage、设备位置、应用程序使用频率等个人数据。

“为了澄清这一点,”该公司写道,“我们的应用程序不能通过移动设备管理技术访问任何私人信息。我们公司、黑客或任何人都不可能获得它。苹果是唯一能够访问和使用这些数据的公司。”

该公司还表示,它自己的应用程序收集的敏感信息——包括孩子的姓名、年龄、性别、安装的应用程序和位置——是它认为“绝对有必要为我们提供服务”的数据,并且只会“尽可能短的时间”保留。

根据《今日美国》的最新报道,该媒体已经联系了苹果,截至目前,苹果还没有对OurPact公司的回应发表评论。

Apple Pulls Apps from App Store Under the Guise of Privacy Protection

Of the 17 most popular screen-time and parental-control apps in the App Store, 11 have been removed or restricted by Apple. The app makers believe they are being punished for competing with Apple‘s own screen-time control tools。Apple says that the applications - specifically, the parental-control apps - were removed because of their use of Mobile Device Management, a technology that gave third parties access to information such as “user location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions and browsing history.” In other words, Apple says it removed the apps to protect the privacy of the children and parents who installed them.

Apple responded to a recent New York Times report that it removed or restricted 11 of the 17 most downloaded parental control and screen-time apps and clamped down on others for what the company claims was a simple reason: “they put users’ privacy and security at risk.”

But rivals contend it was done for competitive purposes, since Apple launched its own Screen Time tools in September 2018, as part of iOS 12.

Now one of the companies whose app was removed, OurPact, is responding to Apple‘s response. In a post on Medium, titled “There Used To Be An App For That,” OurPact claims Apple’s statement is misleading.

The issue surrounds what is known as Mobile Device Management technology, which Apple in its statement describes as “highly invasive” because it gives a third party “control and access over a device and its most sensitive information, including user location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions, and browsing history.”

While Apple added that MDM has some legitimate uses, it also said the tech is extremely risky and can be exploited by hackers for malicious purposes.

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OurPact countered that, “This stands in contradiction to the fact that MDM technology was initially developed by Apple to ensure security of private data on remotely managed devices.”

OurPact points to Apple‘s own documentation, which states that MDM cannot see such personal data as emails, calendars, iMessages, device location, frequency of app use and more.

“To clarify this very important point,” the company wrote, “OurPact does not have access to any of this private information via MDM. It is impossible for us, hackers, or anybody else to obtain it. Apple is the only one who has access to and uses this data.”

OurPact went on to say that the sensitive information its own app collects - which includes a child’s name, age, gender, installed apps, and location - is the data it deems “absolutely necessary to provide our service,” and is only retained for “as short a period as possible.”

“By choice, we would never be in the unfortunate position of telling one of the most beloved companies in the world that they have made a mistake, but sometimes the truth has to be spoken to power....Given that there are no privacy issues with properly vetted MDM apps like OurPact being on the App Store, we humbly request that we are reinstated and allowed to continue providing our million users with the service they love and depend on.”

USA TODAY has reached out to Apple and is awaiting a comment on the OurPact response.

南都记者 张沛 整理编译自 《纽约时报》 《今日美国》 interestingengineering.com