Several screen time monitoring apps have disappeared off Apple’s App Store in a crackdown that emphasizes safety and security of the users.
According to the New York Times, the parental control and screen-time apps were either forced to remove features that could potentially gain access to too much data from users or taken out the App Store entirely. The news platform further speculated that the move was due to the rollout of the new iOS 12 Screen Time feature. Several developers have filed antitrust complaints, with Kaspersky Lab leading the charge.
Phil Schiller, Senior VP of Marketing at Apple, responded with an email, stating that the move was about protecting the security and privacy of the children and their parents. The VP further mentioned that while NY Times did not disclose the fact that some of the affected apps were using MDM, or mobile device management technology, which could potentially access the child’s device location, app use, web surfing habits, camera, network access and more.
For some, eliminating these screen time apps may feel like a step backward, but it’s all about the company protecting its users’ security and privacy.