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Apple reverses course and allows parental controls to use MDM technology with stricter privacy requirements


Apple has indicated that developers of parental control applications can use Mobile Device Management (MDM) in their applications, as long as they do not sell, use or disclose any data to third parties for any purpose.

An excerpt from the new Guideline 5.5:

You must make a clear statement of what user data will be collected and how it will be used on the screen of an application before any user action to buy or use the service. MDM applications must not violate local laws. The applications that offer MDM services can not sell, use or disclose to third parties any type of data for any purpose, and must commit to this in their privacy policy. Applications that do not comply with this guide will be removed from the App Store and may be removed from the Apple Developer Program.

This comes a little over a month later. The New York Times It was reported that Apple had eliminated or restricted many of the most popular parental control and screen time applications in the App Store Since the launch of its own screen time feature in iOS 12 last year, generating concerns about potentially anti-competitive behavior.

In response to the report, Apple said it had discovered that some parental control applications were using MDM, putting the privacy and safety of children at risk.

"These applications used a business technology that gave them access to very sensitive personal data of children," said an Apple spokesman in a statement issued to The New York Times on Monday "We do not believe it is OK for any application that helps data companies track or optimize children's advertising."

MDM technology is designed for enterprise users to manage their company's devices, and Apple said that the use of MDM in consumer-focused applications led to privacy and security concerns that caused the company to address the situation in its App Store Review the guidelines in 2017.

L quickly joined the developers, who finally joined Apple to "put children first" by launching a public API for their Screen Time for developers to use. That never happened, with Apple in this way and allowing the use of MDM with stricter privacy requirements.

Apple's updated guidelines also indicate that parental control applications from "approved vendors" can use one of their personal VPN APIs.

Apple has faced increasing scrutiny over its App Store and potentially anticompetitive business practices, ranging from the Spotify complaint to multiple clbad action lawsuits. In response, Apple said it "welcomes the competition" in the App Store, which only serves to make it a "better" platform.

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