First iPhone App Pulled from Apple App Store - gHacks Tech News

First iPhone App Pulled from Apple App Store

It was just a matter of time until the news would break that an application that has been offered on the Apple App Store was raising security or privacy concerns. Even Mozilla with their high quality controls let some bad apples slip through so it was just a matter of time.

The time has come apparently because the iPhone game Aurora Feint has been pulled from the Apple store due to privacy and security reasons. Here is why..

The developers of the game thought that it would be a cool feature to transfer his complete contact list to the game server to find out if any of his friends are playing the game itself. The contact list was transferred unencrypted (of course) and anyone with a little bit of knowledge could have gained those information easily.

aurora feint

The developers responded to that by claiming that they never stored the contact list on their servers and that they stopped saving (and erased) personal information that was recorded previously on July, 18th.

In the mean time, we have submitted an update to apple that uses HTTPS to send your data over the wire encrypted. Our update is in the queue marked as In Review. We are also preparing another update with the community feature completely removed. We are trying to get in touch with Apple to work with them on how to move forward so that everyone can continue to enjoy our game and feel comfortable about applications on their phone. If you work at Apple or know anyone who does, please contact me and Jason directly via PM on this forum.

A real interesting aspect as the story unfolds is that the Apple SDK is apparently giving developers access to the user's contact list. Apple should make sure that personal data never gets transferred unless the user authorizes the transfer before.





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    Comments

    1. Elliott Back said on July 28, 2008 at 1:50 pm
      Reply

      I don’t know if you looked or not, but this app is still in the App store. It didn’t stay pulled for very long…

    2. Martin said on July 28, 2008 at 2:05 pm
      Reply

      Elliott yes a new version of the app was added on July, 24th.

    3. Travis Bedard said on July 28, 2008 at 7:06 pm
      Reply

      Martin,

      I guess I’m confused as to why you didn’t include the fact that it was back up and no longer using private data, or that the creators of the game have been transparent throughout the process in your original entry.

      I understand that you are concerned about the security aspects of the SDK giving access. But isn’t the quick takedown, fix, and restoration an important part of the story?

    4. Martin said on July 28, 2008 at 7:35 pm
      Reply

      Travis I wanted to concentrate on the fact and not on what happened after the removal. Still, you are probably right that it would have made more sense to include those details as well.

    5. Skip D. said on July 28, 2008 at 9:20 pm
      Reply

      This article is not only inaccurate, but incomplete and poorly written.

    6. Matt said on July 29, 2008 at 10:10 pm
      Reply

      The developers of AF are good people, if you covered the story like any other blog did you would have known that. The inaccuracies in this article are disgusting.

      The app was down for a handful of days (not yesterday, by the way…) and nothing more, and the issue was easily corrected. This is one of the apple staff’s favorite applications, and is one of the highest rated.

    7. Martin said on July 29, 2008 at 10:20 pm
      Reply

      Matt instead of just pointing out that the inaccuracies in this article are disgusting you could be helpful and correct them, how about that for a change?

      I’m looking forward to it. Until then, you are nothing but a troll..

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