Clueful – an application developed by Bitdefender to help iPhone users protect their privacy – has been removed from Apple’s App Store.
When it created the app, the security firm considered that users have the right to know which of their programs try to gain access to personal information and potentially pose privacy risks.
The tool has allowed Bitdefender to create a report
which shows that over 40% of iPhone apps are able to track the device owner’s location.
The study also revealed that 18.6% are able to access the phone’s address book, even though many of them are probably not supposed to do so. Another interesting fact unveiled by Clueful was that only 57% of 65,000 pieces of analyzed software encrypt data before storing it.
Although Clueful was initially eligible for its App Store, Apple reversed the decision and removed it.
Bitdefender representatives claim that the app will be resubmitted to Apple, after the reasons of the removal presented by the Cupertino company will be thoroughly analyzed.
Those reasons haven’t been made public, but as folks from The Register highlight
, the app may have been misused. Another theory is that other developers may have complained about its capabilities.
The truth is that such programs can highly affect the popularity of applications that may try to gather data without the user’s knowledge.
“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 the difference. While Clueful remains off the App Store, we are working hard toward understanding why our app was removed and to develop the app to improve its chances of staying there.”
In the meantime, users who have already downloaded the tool can still utilize it.