Apple Pulls Plug on Clueful Privacy App

On Friday, Apple dropped the hammer on Bitdefender’s Clueful, an app billed as an awareness tool for iPhone owners’ privacy.

The app was removed today from the Apple App Store.

Apple hasn’t yet shared what the reasoning for the dismissal was, but iPhone owners who already use Clueful will be able to continue using the installed app.

Clueful was created to address the lack of insight into app privacy on the iOS platform. iPhone owners need to know which apps they have installed may be using their personal data in ways that are not expected. The Clueful team is committed to raising awareness about app privacy on the iOS platform and will continue to develop Clueful for resubmission.

  • Before the Clueful app was pulled, its analysis of more than 65,000 popular iOS apps showed the following:
  • 42.5 percent of apps do not encrypt users’ personal data, even when accessed via public Wi-Fi
  • 41.4 percent of apps were shown to track a user’s location unbeknownst to them
  • Almost one in five of the apps analyzed can access your entire Address Book, with some even sending your information to the cloud without notification

“While most app developers use this information for legitimate purposes, others might not,” said Bitdefender Chief Security Researcher Catalin Cosoi. “Clueful was the best way for iPhone owners to know what data apps are actually accessing. While Clueful remains off the App Store, we are working toward building data privacy awareness and will continue to develop products that help consumers remain secure regardless of platform.”