Google, Apple Ban Technology That Sold Users’ Location Data; Apps Will be Removed After This Deadline
Technology giants Google and Apple have both decided to ban the technology that collected and sold users’ data. This technology is known is X-Mode Social Inc. and has now been banned.
This is the first time that a location broker has been targeted in a direct manner.
Read on to find out all the details!
Google, Apple Notify Developers To Remove Technology That Sells User Location Data
Google and Apple have both notified developers that they will have to remove the tracking software by X-Mode from any app in their app stores.
An investigation was being conducted to verify the sale of location data to government entities by investigators working for Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.). If developers fail to remove the X-Mode’s tracking software from the app in their stores, they will have to lose access to any phones that run with Apple or Google’s operating systems.
A statement has also been issued, where it was confirmed by Google that developers have been given a deadline of seven days or face the ban. However, developers can also ask for an extension of up to 30 days.
A representative of Apple has said that a notice of two weeks has been given to developers to remove X-Mode’s trackers.
How Does X-Mode Work?
X-Mode has been in the news several times for its defense work. The company has provided data for national security, counterterrorism and pandemic response to several U.S. government contractors.
X-Mode’s primary work is in the commercial sector, investors and corporate clients use the data by the company for planning and decision making. X-Mode gathers all the information through SDK, which is a tiny bit of computer code called a software development kit. This SDK is paid in order to embed this data into other developer’s apps in exchange for the data collected.
X-Mode is not the only one; there are multiple others who obtain, buy, and resell detailed information about locations and movements of mobile devices. The other brokers buy the data directly from app developers. This data is then used for targeted advertising, observing behavior of customers, and planning real-estate and investment decisions.