Apple Updates App Store Review Guidelines, Will Allow Parental Control Apps to Use MDM

Apple Updates App Store Review Guidelines, Will Allow Parental Control Apps to Use MDM

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Apple has announced a series of updates to its App Store Review Guidelines including a change that will allow parental control apps to use MDM technology with strict privacy restrictions. This follows accusations that the company was removing rival apps from the App Store following its launch of Screen Time.

The new guidelines listed below are now enforced for new and existing apps, unless otherwise indicated:

● Guidelines 1.3 and 5.1.4. In order to help keep kids’ data private, apps in the kids category and apps intended for kids cannot include third-party advertising or analytics software and may not transmit data to third parties. This guideline is now enforced for new apps. Existing apps must follow this guideline by September 3, 2019.
● Guideline 4.7. HTML5 games distributed in apps may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations, and may not support digital commerce. This functionality is only appropriate for code that’s embedded in the binary and can be reviewed by Apple. This guideline is now enforced for new apps. Existing apps must follow this guideline by September 3, 2019.
● Guideline 5.4. Because VPN provides access to sensitive data, VPN apps may not sell, use, or disclose to third parties any data for any purpose, and must commit to this in their privacy policy. Certain types of apps — such as those for parental control, content blocking, and security — from approved providers may use the NEVPNManager API.
● Guideline 5.5. (New) Because MDM provides access to sensitive data, MDM apps must request the mobile device management capability, and may only be offered by commercial enterprises, such as business organizations, educational institutions, or government agencies, and, in limited cases, companies utilizing MDM for parental controls. MDM apps may not sell, use, or disclose to third parties any data for any purpose, and must commit to this in their privacy policy.
● Guideline 5.1.3(i). Apps may use a user’s health or fitness data to provide a benefit directly to that user, such as a reduced insurance premium, if the app is submitted by the entity providing the benefit and the data is not shared with a third party. The developer must also disclose to the user the specific health data collected from the device.
● Guideline 5.1.1(vii) (New). Apps that compile information from any source that is not directly from the user or without the user’s explicit consent, even public databases, are not permitted on the App Store.
● Guideline 5.1.1(i). Apps must get consent for data collection, even if the data is considered anonymous at the time of or immediately following collection.
● Guideline 1.1.3. Apps may not facilitate purchase of ammunition.
● Guideline 4.2.7. Remote desktop clients now include game consoles owned by the user. Software appearing in the client must be fully executed on the host device.

Apple also says that demo videos of app functionality that is geo-locked or otherwise restricted will not be accepted. Developers must provide a fully functional app for review.

Additionally, "Sign In with Apple" will be available for beta testing this summer. It will be required as an option for users in apps that support third-party sign-in when it is commercially available later this year.

You can read the full App Store Review Guidelines at the link below.

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Apple Updates App Store Review Guidelines, Will Allow Parental Control Apps to Use MDM

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