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New App Store Review guidelines cover Face ID, ARKit, and more

Apple finally clamps down on scam malware scanners

Paul Hudson       @twostraws

Apple has updated its App Review Guidelines for September 2017, taking into account new privacy concerns made possible by Face ID and ARKit, as well as officially banning the scam malware scanners that were raking in user cash in recent months.

Here are the key changes:

  1. The list of apps that are considered to host objectionable content has expanded to include those that are discriminatory based on “national/ethnic origin”.
  2. No app may market itself as “including content or services that it does not actually offer” – specifically iOS-based virus and malware scanners, which have always been nonsense.
  3. Apps that use facial recognition for account authentication “must use LocalAuthentication (and not ARKit or other facial recognition technology)”, including a requirement for providing an alternate authentication method for users under 13 years old.
  4. Apps may now allow users to send money to others as a gift on two conditions. Fisrt, the gift must be a completely optional choice by the giver, and second 100% of the funds must go to the receiver of the gift.
  5. Apple are requiring that all ARKit apps “provide rich and integrated augmented reality experiences”, which means that something as simple as dropping a model into an ARKit view or replaying some animation will not be enough.
  6. In terms of privacy, Apple is making it clear that you may not attempt to identify other people or guess their user profiles based on ARKit’s facial mapping tools, explicitly banning data mining on ARKit facial data.

There’s one more addition that I’ll let speak for itself, because clearly something very serious has happened:

In extreme cases, such as apps that are found to facilitate human trafficking and/or the exploitation of children, appropriate authorities will be notified.

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About the author

Paul Hudson is the creator of Hacking with Swift, the most comprehensive series of Swift books in the world. He's also the editor of Swift Developer News, the maintainer of the Swift Knowledge Base, and a speaker at Swift events around the world. If you're curious you can learn more here.

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