Apple refuses to remove parental control applications for fears of competition. As part of a crackdown on technology that rivals its own screen-time monitoring tools, Apple has denied removing parental control apps from its App Store. A New York Times report claimed that a number of parental control apps had been forced to remove key features in the past year by the tech firm or removed them with little warning.
It said in the 12 months, 11 of the 17 most popular apps in this category had been downgraded or restricted. Last year, Apple introduced its own Screen Time functionality, built into iPhones and iPads, allowing users to monitor their mobile device usage as well as their children’s usage, and set time limits on app usage.
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The report said many app makers believe they were targeted because Apple’s own features rival their apps and could harm the business of the tech giant. In response, due to security concerns, Apple said it had removed a number of apps.
“Apple has always supported on the App Store third-party apps that help parents manage devices for their children. Contrary to what the New York Times reported during the weekend, it’s not a matter of competition, it’s a matter of security, “said a statement from the company. “We are committed to providing a competitive, innovative app ecosystem in this category and in every category.
“There are many tremendously successful apps offering Apple-like features and services in categories such as messaging, maps, email, music, web browsers, pictures, note-taking apps, contact managers, and payment systems, to name just a few.
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“We are committed to offering these apps a place to thrive as they enhance the user experience for everyone.” The firm said it was concerned about a technology is known as Mobile Device Management (MDM), which gives a third party control over a device.
Apple said it recognized that in some business settings this technology had legitimate uses, but said its use in consumer apps was a “clear violation” of its App Store policies.
“In addition to the control that the app itself can exert over the device of the user, research has shown that hackers can use MDM profiles to gain access for malicious purposes,” the company said.
“Parents should not have to trade their fears about the use of their kids ‘ devices for privacy and security risks, and the App Store should not be a platform to force that choice. No one should have unrestricted access, except you, to manage the device of your child.”
Last month, Spotify confirmed that Apple had reported to European regulators what it claimed were anti-competitive practices in the way it managed some payments made through the App Store, accusing the company of using the store to give an advantage over Spotify’s rival app to its own Apple Music service. In response, the iPhone maker claimed that Spotify had wrapped “in misleading rhetoric financial motivations.”