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.
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.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.