Apple removes app at Amazon's request

Apple removes app at Amazon's request
Last month, the Fakespot Secure Shopping app was launched in the App Store. With the app, users get to experience shopping on Amazon "as it should be, with genuine products and reviews, reliable sellers, great prices and fewer returns," the app developer said. Earlier today, Apple removed the app from the App Store at the request of Amazon. The latter said that it was concerned that a new update to its iOS app allowed Fakespot to "wrap" the Amazon app without permission which could lead to the collection of data belonging to Amazon customers.

Such data includes email, addresses, credit card info, and the browser histories of Amazon users. However, the online retailer admits that it doesn't know for sure whether Fakespot is using this information.

The Verge spoke with Fakespot founder Saoud Khalifah who said that Apple never gave him a reason why it removed his company's app from the App Store. However, a few hours ago Apple disseminated a terse statement in which it said that it regretted the lack of an amicable solution to the issue and that it removed Fakespot from its iOS app storefront. Khalifah, obviously not happy with Apple's decision, said, "Apple hasn’t even given us the ability to solve this. We just dedicated months of resources and time and money into this app."

Amazon says that Fakespot violates Apple guideline 5.2.2 which states that "If your app uses, accesses, monetizes access to, or displays content from a third-party service, ensure that you are specifically permitted to do so under the service’s terms of use. Authorization must be provided upon request." Considering that Fakespot is an overlay that "wraps" around Amazon and that "hell no" is not permission, it would seem that the online retailer has a good case.

In a statement, Amazon said, "The app in question provides customers with misleading information about our sellers and their products, harms our sellers' businesses, and creates potential security risks. We appreciate Apple’s review of this app against its App Store guidelines." The Fakespot is still available for Android devices from the Google Play Store.

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