Neighbourhood Technology Desk: Apple changed its App Store rules last week to limit how developers use information about iPhone owners’ friends and other contacts, quietly closing a loophole that let app makers store and share data without many people’s consent. Move cracks down on a practice that’s been employed for years. Developers ask users for access to their phone contacts, then use it for marketing and sometimes share or sell the information – without permission from the other people listed on those digital address books.
Sharing of friends’ data without their consent is what got Facebook into so much trouble when one of its outside developers gave information on millions of people to Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy. Apple has criticized the social network for that lapse and other missteps, while announcing new privacy updates to boost its reputation for safeguarding user data.