Apple To Developers: Disclose Screen Recording Or Get Booted From App Store

from ars technica

Apple has begun notifying developers who use screen-recording code in their apps to either properly disclose it to users or remove it entirely if they want to keep their apps in the App Store. The move comes after a TechCrunch report showed that many apps do not disclose such activity to users at all, and some sensitive user data has been compromised through screen recordings.”Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem,” an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity.”

The initial report highlighted third-party analytics code used by Air Canada, Expedia, Hotels.com, Hollister and other companies in their mobile apps that allows them to record the screens of users while they navigate the app. These “session replays” are designed to help developers work out kinks, make informed UI decisions, and better inform them on how users are interacting with their apps in general.

However, many apps do not tell users that their activity is being monitored by screen-recording code. Also, some session replays reportedly compromised sensitive user information. While they are designed to mask such data, TechCrunch reported that Air Canada’s app was not properly masking information such as users’ passport and credit card numbers.

More here.

40 Responses to Apple To Developers: Disclose Screen Recording Or Get Booted From App Store

  1. Rayzan Alarashi February 12, 2019 at 11:44 pm #

    The fact that some companies have gone so far as to screen record users on their apps is absurd to me. Whatever happened to privacy in this world? Its one thing to use cookies but going so far as to screen record users is an extreme violation of one’s privacy especially when they aren’t even being informed about it. Nowadays people have almost all their personal information right on their phones so if another individual is getting access to that, it could be very problematic. It nice to see that Apple is handling this situation appropriate by giving apps who do this a specific period of time to either change their policy or be removed entirely from the App Store. The certain apps under scrutiny should consider themselves lucky that no one’s personal information has been comprised because of their screen recording. If that had happened, they would likely be dealing with a much greater legal issue then the one they are facing now. There is honestly no nice way of putting it, but screen recording users is simply spying. The argument of using it to “improve online customer experience” is completely ineffective for this matter. It no longer surprises me that apps are even doing this anymore. Based on what has been previously occurring in the media, many apps are being put under examination for the various ways in which they have been violating user privacy. At this point, who knows when the next discovery will be about how social media has found another way yet again to snoop on us. Nowadays, companies have become so competitive with one another that they will take any means to come out on top. Personally, I can’t see this issue getting any better the more we advance our technology and the only hope for change is how much we as users are willing to take. If it has truly come down to it and the best way of improving one’s app is to screen record users, then at least make it known to everyone so that they can browse such apps accordingly.

  2. Danielle C February 13, 2019 at 12:02 pm #

    I agree with Valentina’s post. Privacy today is becoming less safe as time goes by. It is easy to access just about any and all information about a person. Unfortunately, it just takes a quick search on the internet. For example, I attended a seminar about internet privacy. The speaker explained his deep concern about using social media and although it seems like a great use, it can become dangerous letting/allowing others to easily access private information about them. He randomly pulled someone from the audience and asked them for just their first name. They gave it to him and within five minutes, the man was able to find their last name, address, family members, and more. It was very shocking and scary to see that information given to websites we feel we can trust and certain apps on our Apple devices can access not only our personal information, but also what you are looking at. I agree with Apple cracking down on companies who disclose the view user’s screens because the user did not give consent and feel violated not only by the companies viewing their information, but also from Apple who should be monitoring these companies and giving the users a warning if issues arise with a company. I do agree with Apple to enforce this issue because they don’t want to lose the trust of their users and not buy Apple products any longer due to this issue. I do see this happening if someone, for example, is shopping online and changes to a different website the new site will start displaying ads from the website they just viewed. An example that I feel Apple should also enforce is the different apps allowing companies to listen in on their users speaking into the microphone and at any point overhear or oversee what users are looking for. This creates issues especially if someone is talking to another person about sandwiches and they didn’t look recipes up online, but while they scroll on there phone hours later see websites, restaurants, and recipes involving sandwiches. I agree with Apple’s crackdown on giving users more privacy that they deserve, but they need to do more in order to keep users happy.

  3. Josh Shupper February 13, 2019 at 3:54 pm #

    When I was reading this article, I found it a little shocking that Apple would basically threaten that they will remove any app not in compliance with the screen-recording policies. However, I can definitely see why Apple would be doing something like this. Apple wants to help keep their iPhone users along with everyone else and their privacy safe. That is a good thing that can definitely help out their customers. Safety is a huge priority for any company and all people in society. Privacy, in today’s society, seems to be dwindling each and every single day. Information is being placed all over the internet and the privacy of many individuals globally could be affected in a negative way if the information out on the internet ends up in the wrong hands. There are hackers out there who will take advantage of any information that is taken from the apps that is misplaced on the internet. One click on the computer can screw someone’s life around so bad that they may never recover from what happened to them. There is only so much that just one company like Apple can do. The apps that are being uploaded on the App Store need to change their ways otherwise these companies that create the ads are going to be in huge trouble. As mentioned in the article, “apps do not tell users that their activity is being monitored by screen-recording code”. Well, that is simply one thing that the apps completely screwed up. Customers fall for the “traps” and now apps are getting criticized, and these criticisms are not good either. The scary thing about this is the fact that customers do not know that their personal information is being sent around by the different apps and is probably all over the internet. I simply do not understand why apps would not tell their customers about something this significant. If customers knew about the screen-recording code, they would be more aware about what they are looking for in the App Store. I am definitely glad that Apple is taking a step in the right direction. The only problem is that this might have happened a little bit too late. Hopefully, the creator of all of the apps that have been affected by what they learned from the App Store and are also able to make adjustments so they do not get kicked off the App Store. Where else are they going to get publicity for? The App Store is such a hot commodity.

  4. Abdulrafay Amir February 13, 2019 at 5:02 pm #

    The need for privacy seems to be at an all-time high in today’s society. Many individuals in our community feel “attacked” at the notion of being spied on by our government and now by letting the people know that apps do this as well will definitely create a stir. Apple is for sure deemed the hero in this situation for being the ones to enforce this policy of having the apps explicitly convey that they will “record users screens” and let them know the length and duration of each occasion. It is very important that Apple did this because aside from their beliefs of ensuring their customers that privacy is safe, they won the marketing side by having people love the actions they are taking. On the side of these apps such as “Hollister and hotel.com”, it is interesting to note the tactics that they have tried to use to up their game as companies. They have been able to operate under the radar for a while in these circumstances and it is understandable in a sense what they are trying to do. By checking feedback from screen-time of their users they can adjust to the needs of their overall customers, but this totally breaks rules of privacy even if they are not intending to do so. I myself didn’t even know it was possible for the owners of these apps to be able to see the screen usage of its users which an insane technological advancement on one end is, but it goes to show you that at the rate our technology is expanding, it wouldn’t be a surprise to any other thing people are able to conquer. You already see that when you are on social media that there are ads that ironically advertise the things that you search up on the internet or have looked into. So, in a sense, it isn’t a surprise that companies are doing this. However, I am still very satisfied that Apple took the correct approach in their efforts to help their customers feel a level of safety, but who knows what Apple is hiding on their end?

  5. DawnJ February 13, 2019 at 10:35 pm #

    I applaud Apple for their transparency policy and for standing firm by making developers follow the rules. In today’s tech landscape, security and privacy threats are everywhere. I used to be an iPhone owner for a long time but gave it up a few years ago in favor of a more “fun” phone that did not have what appeared to be restrictions to me at the time. I became annoyed with the app options available on the iPhone, I wanted more freedom! I also became bored of iPhone’s new releases because they weren’t anything special or different – I kept buying their latest phones but did not see the value. I also especially disliked Siri because it did not understand commands as well as other systems such as Android.

    Lately I have been on the fence in deciding to purchase a new laptop, wondering whether I should give Apple a try for the sheer security benefit. I have considered going with an iPhone again for the same reason but can’t seem to choose. Certainly, my privacy and security is very important to me, but I feel as though I will be missing out on the “freedom” I have with non-Apple devices.

    The idea of companies recording everything we do is just creepy. It seems as though privacy is a lost thing of the past. Whether or not a company has no interest in ‘spying’ on people is irrelevant. Consumers have the right to accept or decline their activity being recorded or monitored no matter what the reason. I personally do not think Glassbox’s response was appropriate. It seems the only way to escape the threats is to go off the grid. I have given this some serious thought too!

    I can’t help but wonder why society and our legal system has not done a better job of regulating companies that continue the abuse on our privacy? Why aren’t consumers rights being protected as vigorously as they should be? What if regulations included stiff and severe penalties for digital invasion of privacy?

  6. Jada F February 14, 2019 at 5:27 pm #

    I completely agree with Apple’s decision to require these apps to make sure that it is disclosed to consumers that their activity will be “screen recorded” before they decide if they want to use the app or not. Privacy is a very serious concern and I think that if most people knew that people may be watching them type in their credit card number or even enter their social security number, they would think twice before using that app. I am taking a class called “Marketing Web Analytics” and we are learning how to use Google Analytics now, so this article was very relatable to the discussions that we are have been having. Most apps/websites track users on their site. They can see things such as, the amount of time spent on their site, what other pages were visited on the site, whether they bought something or not, bounce rate (the people that left their site after only visiting one page) and the list goes on. I think that it is very helpful for a company’s marketing technique. Based on what you clicked on, they will be able to pull up other similar items and show them in ads to you when you visit different site. For example, let’s say you are looking for a new laptop. You search on Google for one and look at a few different websites. After you are done, you log into Facebook, and immediately you see ads on the side of the page most of the time, from the websites you visited showing you more laptops. I think that this strategy is great and although they are able to track how you are using their site, it is not as invasive as screen recording. Knowing what I know now about how extensively these apps are able to track your usage, I see no reason why apps should use the “screen recording” method to begin with. We should be able to trust, however, that it is being used ethically and for the sole purpose of helping the company with their marketing strategies and maybe disclosing the information to consumers is the first step.

  7. Peter Honczaryk February 15, 2019 at 10:41 am #

    Its important to have sense of privacy whenever you are on your phone. The fact that it took till now for apple to tell their developers that they should begin disclosing that their apps may use screen recording is frightening and a violation of privacy. Apple is popular product and people love their phones. That’s where they keep their personal information, records of credit cards and banking information, and it is discomforting to know that people have the power to just access this information whenever they want. Most of these apps that apple uses is not very secure to begin with. If they are being monitored and screen recorded, important information could be leaked and cause personal problems that could result in losing money, or other personal information. Although it took along time for apple to finally tell their developers to disclose screen recording, at least they finally did. This will allow for people to be more aware of what apps they are using that have this kind of feature. The only problem is that people are aware of the problems with screen recording and so they will tend to stay away from the app that has this feature in order to protect their own privacy which will result in hurting the developer of the app. When no one uses the app, the developer will not have any use to update or add features to it and will result in having to delete altogether. Continuous development of these types of apps would result in the developer failing altogether, so even though they are being told to disclose the information, they might not actually do so since its not like apple would probably check to see every app that is out there. Even with the problem of screen recording, people still have to worry that they could be monitored either way so in the end everyone loses.

  8. Kyle Stephens February 15, 2019 at 12:55 pm #

    I absolutely love this move by Apple. This decision will both increase user security while using apps and gives apple good. Although I wasn’t surprised, I had yet to hear about companies screen recording everything we do on apps. As an iPhone user it scares me to know that my favorite apps could potentially leak important information about myself. This also assure me however that Apple is a good company that will have my back in this kind of situation.
    By doing this apple also flexes their muscles a little bit. Apple understands how big it is and how profitable its app store is, so they know that companies wont want to risk their apps being taken off for some screen recordings. The app store is a hot commodity on the internet because of its amazing accessibility and huge user base. And because there is such a large user base for the app store that makes you wonder how many people have had information stolen from them. In todays society privacy is one of the most important things we can have. It’s no longer about stealing jewelry and money, now its all about stealing credit card numbers and identities. This makes the security breach by these developers even scarier and more serious of a problem. I, along with many other, applaud Apple for taking the initiative to notify the developers of such apps rather than sweeping it under the rug lie nothing happened.
    I don’t like this idea of recording what we do at all times. To me, it doesn’t matter the purpose of the recordings at all, I never gave my consent to be recorded so I shouldn’t be. There are just too many possibilities of what could happen with the information. Although Glassbox claims that its just for developmental purposes, I still believe that it shouldn’t be done. There are so many other ways to get this data. You could do the screen recording but in a closed environment with game testers. You could do online surveys, read comments on the app store, or literally anything that wont give away my private information. Overall, Apple is the hero of this situation.

  9. Claudia Ralph February 15, 2019 at 2:02 pm #

    Screen recording and data collection from consumers are two issues that have left consumers a bit uneasy and severely at risk for having their information lost or stolen. Consumers have a right to know that their information is being screen recorded and potentially parsed, as it could have greater implications for them outside the singular purchase that they are making. While it is cited in the article that many of these tactics are only used for internal purposes, a possible data breach could get this information into the hands of people it does not belong in, which is wildly unfair.
    I did not know that this practice was occurring, and it is really making me second guess using my card on apps and other websites, even though I know that your information can be parsed from basically anywhere. It is a little unsettling to know that developers could be using my information for their own benefit. While it could be important for customer experience for these developers to be using our information to test via screen recording, something like this should be a function that is asked permission via a notification or is noted in the App’s terms and conditions.
    And this practice is not limited to just sites where you are buying things or making other transactions. Social media platforms are at risk or this as well, and Facebook and Google develop outside applications to parse the same kind of data. It is essentially a way to monitor every single move that we make on our phones.
    Apple’s compliance in these issues is very interesting, as I believe they are going out of their regular scope to protect consumers which is comforting. Their notification to app developers helps us to delve deeper to the conversation of consumer privacy and the rights that consumers have to their own privacy. Apple potentially removing apps that are using this practice from their App Store can be seen by developers as more of a drastic move, but it is in the best interest of the consumer, who ultimately controls how well Apple does.

  10. Luke C February 15, 2019 at 3:01 pm #

    I’m glad companies like Apple are finally taking the (long overdue) initiative and enforcing their transparency policies. Privacy is a humongous concern for today’s society, and the more companies can do to protect users, the more successful their companies will be in the long run. Screen recording seems like it should be a major concern in the privacy department, and it seems like Apple is finally understanding how drastic this issue could become. If other companies are recording “sessions replays” (as put in the article), there are countless security breaches that could arise. Not only do users have to worry about what Apple is doing with all of its collected data, but now users have to worry about the privacy walls from inside third-party companies. For example, if I log into Hotels.com, and they seem it necessary to create a “session replay” and record how I interact with the app, what security measures do they have in preventing that screen recording from being manipulated maliciously by people in the company? If I log in with my Facebook, do they get to see my login email and password? To what extent are they recording?

    From a technical background, I understand why these companies screen record; they want to see where users click, what tabs they use most often, what portions of the app are most under-used, etc. But there has to be a point where third-party app owners tell users in simple text that their app sessions may be monitored. Also, they might want to be supervised by Apple or some other governing privacy organization in order to ensure they only record within the app, and not anywhere else. Simple regulations should be put into place, and if they already have these regulations, they should be explained to each and every user in simple, easy to read text, so that everyone understands the processes going on behind the scenes. In all reality, if Hollister wants to know how I’m using their app, I’m more than happy to let them create session replays…but I would also like to know if and when they occur.

    Regarding the insight vs. invasion aspect of the article, I believe that if the conditions are laid out to everyone involved in the app usage (AKA Apple, third-party app owners, and users), then there shouldn’t be any issues. There just has to be a difference between using the information in order to create a better application and simply spying on users in general. I would love to see Apple continue to enforce guidelines and rules regarding the recording of app sessions, and I’m excited to see a company cracking down on these issues. Internet privacy is the key to success currently, and I’m sure it will be that way for many years to come. The safer and more secure users feel when using products and applications, the more likely they are to continue to use them. Screen monitoring (while using an application) is a great way to improve usability, but there needs to be more communication between companies and users regarding it.

  11. David Torres February 15, 2019 at 4:44 pm #

    In the article “Apple to developers: disclose screen recording or get booted from App Store” there is much controversy about the dilemma with apps that utilize screen recording. Some of these apps listed on the app store do not let their users know that they are been screen recorded. This means that their users are being monitored by their every move. Every swipe, click, and scroll is being watched and saved by these apps listed on the app store. There is a huge argument on whether it is a benefit to the app by calling it an insight or something that is awful known as an invasion. The company that this article is referring to called Glass Box. They claim not to be interested whatsoever on “spying on users.” They say they are a strong supporter of user privacy, their security and that their primary purpose of using screen recording is to protect their users from a compliance perspective. From the sound of hearing this statement sounds very hypocritical of this company. Apple recently has been making strong statements about apps that do not inform their users about being monitored through screen recording. These apps that continue to not educate their users about being screen recorded will be removed from the app store.
    Personally, I think that apps that use screen recording should without a doubt inform their customers that they are being monitored. By seeing this statement before using the app, the user will have the chance to get to decide whether or not they want to continue forth and start using the app. These apps may lose some customers, but they must abide by the rules that Apple has set in stone because they are the one that created the screen recording feature. On the flip side, there are many benefits that a company can get from the use of screen recording their users. This feature allows the developers to see better how they can facilitate the interface of their app and make it more user-friendly. However, to be able to incorporate this feature properly onto their app, they must inform their users of this. If not, Apple will boot them off of the app store before they know it.

  12. Cameron Kharazmi February 15, 2019 at 4:56 pm #

    As tech developers continue to innovate their services at a rapid pace, they also continue to engage in practices that threaten the liberties of the consumers. Many of the articles on the Shannonweb blog speak to the battle for privacy and internet freedom for the general public, and over the past few weeks I have comprehended a large amount of information about the public backlash to the activities of tech developers, so it does not surprise me that different companies with apps on the IOS platform engaged in the screen recording of its users without actually telling them. Although their reasoning is sound and does not sound harmful to the user because it was for app improvement purposes, it is appalling that it took Apple, the largest tech company in the world, a significant amount of time to notice this trend, and an even longer amount of time to impose a harsh ruling on such practices. Additionally, there is incentive for those companies to record the screens of its users beyond the use of their own app. Information is the greatest currency the world holds right now. Acquiring information on what users use their phones for, what activities they take part in on a daily basis, and even facts about their personal life is valuable to these companies. Using such information could teach those companies how to directly advertise to those consumers, threatening their wallets as well as their personal privacy. In a society that I believe is growing towards a dystopia, such information could also be used for extortion purposes, and the average citizen has no match to the legal defense held by a big company such as Facebook or Alphabet. I also believe that it should be illegal for companies like Facebook and Google to be engaged in publishing research apps that gain user information, as I believe such apps engage in malpractice in the way they take user information. For example, the Google feature that enabled people to upload their personal picture and match it to a historic art painting was able to grab loads of information related to the appearances of their users. It is not outlandish to believe that this information could be used for the purposes as described above. My personal belief is that as the internet grows, we will continue to lose our personal internet liberties. I also believe that in the internet era, personal privacy will cease to exist.

  13. Hassan Elzeeny February 15, 2019 at 5:10 pm #

    When I first found out about this I didn’t know how to react. I would say I’m shocked, but in reality I’m not nor should anyone truly be shocked. Almost every form of technology now is listening to you and taking data without disclosing it to the consumer. Whether that be Facebook, twitter, Instagram, google maps, and more. For example, whenever I get into my car in the morning google maps knows exactly where I’m going. From the address, to the distance, and even down to the hallway number. Another common example is websites listening to people through computer speakers. Websites will listen to anything you say and advertise anything related to the subject you were talking about.
    I knew companies in some form or fashion were listening to us, but I never imagined it going this far. It has gotten to the point where we can’t do anything without having to worry about being essentially spied on. The scariest part of all this is the fact that we haven’t even scratched the surface of possibilities when it comes to companies listening to us. The reality is the more technology advances the more companies will intrude on people’s privacy. I think the scariest part about this is we truly have no idea what our data is being used for, who our data is going to, and at what cost. What is also worrisome for me is the fact that it really does not matter what settings you turn on or off on your phone. As long as your phone is on your privacy is at risk and your data as well.
    I think it is great the Apple is taking the initiative in this situation by making sure apps disclose this information to people. I also believe that if any apps are screen recording people without consent, they should be removed from the app store. The one question I have with this is how are they disclosing this information? If the only way they are disclosing this information is through terms and agreements then I feel that it won’t make a difference. The average consumer does not even skim the terms and agreements and just presses “agree” without knowing what they agreed to.This allows the company to do the exact same thing, but “legally”. I believe it’s time that privacy is put at the forefront of conversation. It is time that privacy is addressed in the legal system. There needs to be rules and regulations that prevent companies from abusing our privacy. With these rules and regulations there needs to be strict punishments. For example, fines and a companies app being removed from the app store completely with a possible suspension from creating anymore apps. In my opinion using strict rules and punishments is the only thing that can make companies change and stop using our data and intruding on our privacy without our consent. Apple making the decision it did is a big step in the right direction and hopefully with a big company like Apple stepping up other companies will follow suit.

  14. Andrew Kenny February 15, 2019 at 6:24 pm #

    In all honesty, I did not know that many app companies were using screen recording technology without discretion. Realistically, most people refuse to read all terms and conditions before using an app. However, it is completely necessary to at least give consumers the opportunity to know that screen recording will occur. Quite simply, many will view it as an illegal invasion of privacy, as I do. From a logistics standpoint, I can see why companies would want to see the day to day uses of how people use their app. It could be beneficial in terms of ensuring efficiency for customers, as well as new advancements that could be added to make the interface more user friendly.
    At the end of the day, users really don’t know if there will be much change, let alone the fact that many people value their digital privacy. Just look at current debates on net neutrality. Once people realize that their freedom of speech and privacy are in jeopardy, protests almost always occur. The paranoia of being watched and observed by the government gets people on edge. Apple taking a stand on this issue, and actually supporting consumer privacy is revolutionary. More often than not, big corporations do not attempt to protect he rights of the buyers. By doing this, Apple just increased their popularity and public view. Tech users will be more inclined to want to buy Apple products because they are “on our side.” Once again, Apple has distanced themselves from their competitors, this time through public relations rather than innovation.
    Hopefully developers will meet Apple’s requirements and not break away from partnerships. I think since Apple has so much influence on the tech community, developers will comply, and other organizations will follow suit. I am perfectly fine with screen recording if I am let known ahead of time. Then, I can decide whether or not I want to use the app. If screen recording does become a common theme for our devices, there should be clear-cut explanation of what it is being used for, and it should be one of the largest and one of the first things on the list of terms and conditions.

  15. Kevin Metz February 15, 2019 at 6:24 pm #

    This article had one line that sparked a real interest in my imagination. When they say that Apples main concern was to disclose this kind of information to the consumers it really proved that they do not care for customer service as much as they say they do. They were more interested in informing people that their privacy was being invaded rather than stopping it from being invaded at the source, which they can completely control because it is on their platforms. This is like telling someone, “That man over there is going to steal your purse, have a good day!” Instead of stopping the man from stealing the purse, they find that notifying the victim is a better solution. This relates to the most recent article on the SW Blog by showing that technology is changing and it is not safe to say that it is changing for the better. Now when a consumer is on their iphone or ipad that they have paid well over a thousand dollars for, how are they supposed to feel safe or have that sense fof security when Apple is allowing these companies to have the typical person recorded and documented for every click. Although GlassBox has allowed their users to deactivate such a feature, you still must wonder, is it actually turned off? Besides that point Apple should not allow it to be an option at all. They have put social security numbers and credit card numbers at risk with such a behavior and i believe it must stop.

  16. Jon Sozer February 15, 2019 at 6:44 pm #

    Up until this point, we’ve heard word and ramblings of invasion of privacy regarding many companies, Facebook being the first to come to mind. That’s why I’m not surprised in the least to hear of more companies doing their part in the efforts to make sure I live the rest of my life looking over my shoulder and using a VPN. No longer am I surprised, nor am I outraged at the facts. Privacy has been a wisp of a dream for some years now, and apps secretly recording a user’s screen to analyze efficiency and usage are just par for the course.

    The main objectives for these companies in their efforts to record every action during the user’s time on their applications are to better their product, be it to fix bugs apparent in the software or to adapt user interface to make the application more approachable and user friendly. Is it illegal for companies to record users’ screens and analyze whatever metrics to gather information? No, not if the user agrees to having their screen being recording in the Terms of Service. However, the issue is that most of the application users don’t know that they’re being recorded, and are subsequently outraged at the invasion of their privacy. So, Apple has taken a stance on the matter, stating that, as long as there is clarity in the matter, and users voluntarily agree to having their screen be recorded, then the software developers’ actions of recording and analyzing the data apparent is fine. Apple has begun to take appropriate measures, notifying the developers that they must either properly disclose the applications’ tendencies to record a person’s screen, or remove the feature in its entirety.

    I’m not afraid of this feature, nor am I angry enough to raise complaints. I, and I assume many others, have grown desensitized to these frequent invasions of my privacy. Facebook has been doing it, Google stores a lot of information, and practically every website visited stores cookie, essentially logging and tracking traffic. Perhaps cynically, I don’t truly believe in virtual privacy. Unless an individual is truly tech savvy, they’re bound to leave information about themselves in one way or another. Websites, softwares, and applications will take, store, and use data. Just be smart about what you leave online, be content knowing that companies are monitoring and using your online habits for their own gain, and keep using Expedia.

  17. Ethan Sterner February 15, 2019 at 6:48 pm #

    While this issue is just getting major public attention, issues of developers enabling administrative screen recording within their apps dates back as far as 2010. Various companies have said that they do not practice ill-advised methods of gathering user information and behavior. Going with the insight vs. invasion argument, Apple sees these practices as invasion to user’s sensitive data. One thing many users do not realize is with any app that has administrative screen recording enabled within the app, the screen recording does not “end” when you exit an app. So, in theory, developers of apps can literally see anything on your phone as long as that app is open somewhere in the background. In my opinion, screen recording is never needed by developer to gain insight on users. If the user is not aware of the screen recording, developers are invading a user’s privacy every time they open the app. Google and Facebook however, used a different approach. What both of them did is send registered developers a “research” app to develop an app within their coding constraints. By doing this, developers have already signed over their user’s data without even realizing it. Within these coding constraints. Facebook and Google have injected code to automatically activate a “screen recording” command whenever the app is launched, while some developers have no idea. Apples quick response to global media giants practicing these tactics is surprising however. Seeing how Apple, Facebook and Google all generate large amounts of revenue from each other. Ahead of this move, Apple is demanding that all developers who use administrative screen recording either fully disclose the feature to not only them, but all users as well, or push an update to completely remove the feature overall. This move is considered a win for users everywhere as they being protected by Apple. However, Glassbox, an app to literally track user data has gone overboard. While using the app, an automatic screen recording is started and can see every key pressed, website visited and any information you come across or look at while the app in running. User data should always be protected and it is great to see Apple stepping in to protect it.

  18. Doran Abdi February 15, 2019 at 7:14 pm #

    This article seemed very surprising to me in a good way. It is good to hear that Apple, out of all of the companies included in the tech world, are making a step forward to ensure the privacy of its users. It seems as if every other week there comes out a new story about a tech company or some sort of social media service that is—somehow—intruding on its customer’s privacy. The most common company would have to be Facebook with its plenty of scandals that we have seen throughout the headlines of their intruding and leaking of the private information of majority of its users. The scandal reached such a controversial point for the company that their owner, Mark Zuckerberg, was forced to make a testimony and Facebook eventually would have to air a commercial that recognized the mistakes that the company had made (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4zd7X98eOs). I feel as if Apple had seen the feedback that was faced from the controversy of Facebook’s scandal at this time and recognized that they should do everything in their power to ensure the security of its users. I feel as if this is a great move from Apple as they have realized that this is a time where many people are afraid for their security and so they are doing everything they can to show that they are ensuring security. By doing so, Apple’s approval ratings will most likely improve as many people are now being more concerned for their security regarding technology. Personally, this is an issue that has largely concerned me as all of my information is on my technology and sometimes it feels as if all sense of security on my technological devices are being lost. While in this situation, it may seem reasonable for some apps to be recording the screens of the users who are using their apps to do everything that they can do to improve their app. Yet, it is very important for Apple to make a statement and set a precedent that none of the apps that go through their app store should be invading on the privacy of their users. This was a very good move by Apple and I am happy that they are taking a step in the direction of ensuring the security of all its users.

  19. Edward Holzel February 15, 2019 at 7:41 pm #

    In “Apple to developers: disclose screen recording or get booted from App Store”, Apple corporation is fighting for consumer privacy once again. Apple told companies that used screen recording codes that they need to either remove those codes or notify the consumers using the apps within one day. It should be noted that these companies were using screen recording codes aren’t doing it to spy on the users. These companies are using the screen recording codes to gain data on how well the app works and if there are any bugs. As the intent shows no ill will, Apple still deems it as a violation of their rules about consumer rights. Apple even went to demand major companies, such as Facebook and Microsoft, to fix their apps to comply with new app store measures. It is nice to see a company worth over a trillion dollars stands behind the rights of their consumers. Apple has shown a history of protecting its users. About three years ago, Apple refused to allow the FBI and the NSA backdoors into their phones. Apple refused to give a backdoor for a person being charged with a crime because Apple protects the privacy of its users. Major companies now a day does not care about consumers as Apple does. Facebook sells personal data behind the users bad to make millions every year. Verizon, Comcast, and other internet service providers attack peoples’ right to use the internet by throttling and blocking their access. Apple is the only major company that I am aware of that fights for its consumer rights to privacy and hasn’t attempted to take any rights away from its users. Even though the companies using screen recording codes are still allowed to record their user activities, Apple going to the extent to remove all companies, no matter the size, from the App Store for not informing the users of their apps that they may be recorded. Overall, I love to see Apple making a stand to all companies so that Apple users know when they are being recorded.

  20. Tyler Graham February 15, 2019 at 8:24 pm #

    A lot of times you see people putting a post-it over their webcams, or turning off their Alexas or Google Homes when not in use. Why is that? Fear of surveillance, mostly. Some people will say they do it just to be safe. But either way, people don’t like being monitored (obviously). The companies from the article have no ill-will with screen recording. It’s common for desktop apps to report usage back to the main servers in order to try and make the experience better and fix any errors found (think Adobe products). However, almost always, consent is asked for. Mobile apps are a relatively new playing field, and as such, anyone can put up an app and potentially have it screen record. I agree with Apple’s stance here. If they cannot at least notify or gain the consent of the user, get out. It’s that simple. I own an Android phone, and while the constant bugs and slowness grieve me to no end, I will say that Android has a better system in place. With Android, apps are given no permissions from the bat (they have to request to access camera, files, etc), which means you control what the app can see and report back. Either way though, apps should be required to tell you if you’re being watched while in app. I would go even further and say it should be required by law. There’s a movement going about that suggests that we as humans should have a right to control and lease our data. As of right now little bits of us are being sold and we can’t control it at all. It may be extreme to say this, but I would support an amendment to the bill of rights to include ownership of personal data. It would be a very big step in getting rid of the “big brother” state we’re slowly entering.

  21. Nicholas Meyerback February 15, 2019 at 8:29 pm #

    Last week Apple exerted force over its App Store platform. The company issued a warning to all developers on the App Store that they must notify customers of screen-recording. This comes in the wake of a report that thousands of firms, ranging from companies like Air Canada to Hollister, were secretly recording every in-app action. In some cases every tap, swipe and visual expand was documented. Most users had a general idea that they were being watched. For Example, it is common for apps to monitor searches within the app and usage time. However, the extent of surveillance comes as a surprise. According to the report, many developers would screen-record an individual session within the app and replay these recordings to examine the way users interacted with the app during a specific session. In other words, everything done on said app was watched with a keen eye.

    The motivation behind what seems to most iPhone owners as a troublesome activity reveals a greater contemporary trend. Every company, whether it be in the energy, healthcare or industrials sector, is seeking data. Data equals money in the modern business landscape. Every decision takes into account data, regardless of the magnitude of the action. Successful firms collect information on the nature of consumption to recognize habitual activities. If a company knows the habits of its consumer base then it can predict future actions. Consumer forecasting provides an upper-hand when it comes to maximizing the fruits of a particular move. This is no different than how supermarkets like Stop & Shop understand the psychology of the shopper and design and merchandise their stores accordingly. Stop & Shop utilizes business analytics. Business analytics has sprouted as a result of the efficient collection and storage of data thanks to database technology. Business analytics involves taking monstrous pools of information and seeking the business significance. Glassbox, a customer experience solution firm, specializes in business analytics. Glassbox is known for applying screen-recording as a third party service. Glassbox will send screen-recordings back to developers who use the information as they please. Monitoring by companies like Glassbox does not come without a price.

    One issue with companies that monitor in-app activities is privacy. Not only is big brother trying to figure out customer habits, he’s also seeing precious information. Developers must be careful how they handle user profiles and personal information including addresses, credit card numbers and phone numbers. Air Canada recently went through a public relations disaster when it was revealed that the company failed to hide credit card and passport data when screen-recordings were exchanged. As a result, more than 15,000 profiles were exposed, leaving customers poised to sue the airline company. Air Canada immediately claimed a data breach, however, no party was at fault except themselves. Situations like the Air Canada debacle creates a culture of distrust and cynicism. Additionally, consumers must question if they have any privacy online anymore.

  22. Demetri Allen February 15, 2019 at 8:40 pm #

    Apps are the very foundation of the iPhone. Without them literally nothing would be possible on Apples legendary product. However, certain app developers are engaging in shady practices that could leave users in harms way. In this article, Valentina Palladino talks about how Apple is requiring app developers to disclose when their app contains screen recording software. Palladino explains how some apps have the power to record your screen and every touch or swipe you make. This can be very dangerous for consumers depending on what information they’re giving the developers. Perhaps for a mobile game this isn’t so bad but for any app that requires specific details such as your credit card information or your address this could present a major problem. This breach of privacy puts common people in danger and puts Apple in a very bad position. in some instances this can be seen as them making deals with certain companies for user data. Obviously, that is not the case, but it does paint Apple in a bad light. This is actually very similar to when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg came under fire after certain companies were monitors Facebook user’s information during the 2016 election. There are many things these companies can do behind the seems of technology that is unknown to the users and Apple wants to make sure that all iPhone users don’t unknowingly fall into this trap. In my opinion it was a smart move for Apple to call out developers because it makes the app store a safer place.

  23. Alexander Dornbierer February 15, 2019 at 8:53 pm #

    By demanding a certain level or disclosure from app developers Apple is telling its costumers that they have their best interests and privacy in mind. With the growing tech industry and the amount of tech the individuals have tech privacy is an growing issue for the consumers. If the developers are recording the consumers screens than nothing that the user does is private. Their search history, their online banking statements, nothing is safe from the developers and what they tend to do with that information. As we discussed in class with Facebook, the app developers can take the information that they gather from the screen recording and give it to companies that produce ads that they will put on Facebook. Facebook and the companies both profit from the consumers information. By enforcing the companies to tell the users that they are screen recording or tracking their data provides the consumers with the information needed to protect themselves online. Apple should also enforce the apps to the tell the consumers if they are recording the microphone or camera use. If a company is tracking the screen use why wouldn’t they track the microphone and camera use as well. If the companies don’t agree with Apple’s terms of use than they will be removed from the Apple store. Most apps make their money through ads and micro transactions. If they are not allowed to be on the Apple store than they will not be able to make any money off the app and will negatively affect the future protection of the product. The Apple store is more popular than Google Play so the loss of your app off the Apple Store is a huge loss for the companies. If the company cannot bring in revenue from the apps and the micro transaction than they will loss millions of dollars and lower production in the future. When flappy bird was taking off the app store the developer lost millions of dollars and a bunch of knock off apps were being made and taking money from the developers. By seeing the other companies loss money by getting realized from the app store the new companies will have to agree with Apple’s terms of service with the screen recording,

  24. Keegan Sullivan February 15, 2019 at 9:26 pm #

    The main point of the article “Apple to developers: Disclose Screen Recording or get Booted from App Store” is whether apps should be allowed to record users screen times in order to enhance their companies which would in turn benefit the user. This is a major issue in today’s world especially after everything Facebook went through recently. Facebook was using their platform as a way to gather user’s personal information without telling people that this was occurring. Similarly, todays companies are using apps to gather data. While they do claim to be doing this for company specific reasons, the companies are able to access whatever they would like. The idea of screen recording in itself seems like a major personal invasion issue. But when buying an IPhone and downloading certain apps, I feel as though it is just expected at this point. The goal of a company is to be successful and one ways to succeed is using resources to enhance personal interface. There is clearly the technology today for companies to access our screen so they should be allowed. However, like mentioned in the title of the article, it should be mandatory that accessing our screens is disclosed when you agree to terms. Apple is correct in believing that the importance of this issue is based solely on companies needing to disclose the information. Apple has accepted that apps will use their stance as a way to gain information. But Apple has used its power to ensure the disclosures happen. If they are not present, apple will remove apps from the app store and companies will lose out on much of their revenue. They have already notified developers that they only have a day or two after being instructed to add the disclosure before they are removed from the app store until the disclosure is implemented. I think this shows how serious apple is about the issue and how much they care about the users. The ultimate decision comes down to the user which I personally think is the best way to determine it. Apple can allow apps to screen record but this can only happen once a phone user agree to the access, downloads the app, and uses the app for personal use.

  25. Niurka P February 15, 2019 at 9:47 pm #

    The fight for consumer privacy continues on as it should. After reading this article, it makes me question the integrity of some of the apps on my iPhone. I wholeheartedly agree with Apple requiring its developers to disclose screen recording on their apps. This breach of privacy can make consumers who use these apps extremely uncomfortable, especially if they are not aware of the screen recording software. In the article, it mentions how most apps use this screen recording software to keep track of what users are using the app for so they know what to improve. However, failing to disclose this to users can cause major privacy issues.
    As someone who has had their information stolen and been hacked, consumer privacy is extremely important to me. Nowadays, almost anyone can find any information on someone. Whether it’s bank information, social security numbers, addresses, etc., almost everything is either available to the public or easy to find. Consumer privacy can be to blame for this since privacy laws have been failing to be active ever since the emergence of AI technology. Owners of Alexa or Google Home have been wary of leaving their devices on due to the fact that the device is constantly listening to you. Even iPhones can constantly listen to you because of Siri. Apple iPhones have a feature where you can just say “Hey Siri” and she will automatically listen to the next command you give. The convenience of this is overshadowed by the reality that this means your phone is constantly listening to you. Going back to the apps, there should definitely be some sort of disclosure or disclaimer if the apps choose to screen record what you do. For an even better solution, they can just stop the screen recording altogether and figure out a new way to find out how users are using their app.

  26. Michael C February 15, 2019 at 10:56 pm #

    It is so unsettiling to hear news of such a breach in privacy. I am glad that Apple has taken the necessary steps and are prioritizing their customers safety. I could not agree more with their decision to require such apps to request the ability to screen record and obtain your information. While there may be benefits for the companies when screen recording, such as watching its visitor’s navigation, there is never a good enough reason as to why apps should be able to screen record and jeopardize your safety without your permission. As an avid online shopper, I am often guided to download these apps instead of using the web browser. To now know that respected companies like Hollister and Expedia may have screen recordings of my personal information is worry-some.

    These apps should notify users if and when they are screen recording, so that users must operate at their own will. Snapchat sort of has this feature when you screenshot or screen record a picture or video someone has sent you. It notifies the user who sent out the picture or video that the other person did this. Some people don’t care, but other most certainly do not appreciate screenshotting or screen recording.

    For example, if Dick’s Sporting Goods shopping app did screen recording to its customers, then they would be able to capture all of my personal information, such as my credit card number and address by looking back at the recording. Not everyone is as trustworthy as you think.

  27. Danielle C February 16, 2019 at 2:53 pm #

    Privacy is a scary topic to talk about it. We like to think that what we want to keep private, is actually kept private, and it absolutely is not. It seems as if these companies know every little piece of information about you, whether it’s useful or not. Not only do they just collect and collect data, they sell it to other companies who can use it, so they are making profits off of information about you. This controversy about apps screen-recording on our iPhone is just another blow to our privacy, which is already very little. I feel as if these major tech companies just try to collect as much information as they can about you from all these different sources to hopefully make a profit later. If an app is recording my screen while I use it, I feel as if that is definitely something I would want to know. The article states “While the primary goal of the company’s technology is to give developers more information about how users interact with an app, Glassbox “doesn’t enforce” a policy that its customers disclose to app users that their activity will be recorded.” When I read this excerpt, it came off as if this company, Glassbox, was trying to do it secretly behind our backs. They knew they were doing it, and claim to have a good reason, but are hiding this crucial information from us. We put passwords and credit cards or very personal information into some of these apps, and I don’t think the company should be recording that information, especially without my permission or knowledge. Apple’s remedy for the problem was to take some apps off of the Apple Store until they complied with Apple’s agreements to properly disclose if their app has the code to record the screens of users while they are using the app. They only had a few days to do so, or their app would be removed until this information is disclosed. Personally, in the article it did not seem that Apple was correcting the problem for the right reasons, they only made this mandate to app developers after a report came out about how some apps were able to do this. If Apple really cared about their customers’ privacy, they would take a more proactive approach to security problems and not a reactive approach, like they did here. They would be able to catch these things before a third party “called them out.” Although, it is exceptional to see Apple is taking steps in the right direction to protect our imperative right to privacy, there is so much more to be done throughout the tech industry to keep its consumers safe.

  28. Brandon S. February 19, 2019 at 12:23 pm #

    Apple is one of the largest and most influential tech companies in the world, so when they demand a policy change, developers have no choice but to comply. In this case, a third party by the name of TechCrunch discovered that many of the iOS applications currently on the App Store were collecting and recording the screens of their users. Called “session replays”, they are supposed to help developers work our kinks and bugs in their programs. Apple has no issue with the developers collecting this sort of data, but they are starting to demand that the developers disclose to their the end user that their app will be monitoring their session usage. Personally, I feel like this is an invasion of privacy and I am glad that Apple is taking the initiative to enforce better transparency among app developers, however I am concerned that the intended privacy policies will not be taken seriously or even read at all by the app users. It needs to be made very clear that the app is recording your session data and reporting back to the developer. I understand that this is merely for development purposes, but in the case of the Air Canada app, personal information such as credit cards or passport information was being disclosed to the developers. I would say that is a tremendous invasion of privacy and needs to be stopped. Apple has demanded that their developers change their apps within two days, or they would be removed from the App Store. This is a very firm stance that Apple is taking, and one that I think is well warranted as personal information is at stake, but I worry if their motivations are in the interest of privacy, or full disclosure. To me it seems like this action is more focused on full disclosure, and I think they should be focusing on the privacy concerns of their users as well. This also begs the question; what other actions are developers taking that are not being disclosed to the end user, and how should Apple approach that?

  29. Jamila Cuentas February 20, 2019 at 10:30 pm #

    A company with a big name like Apple made a strong mark on increasing security while using apps. Privacy when using apps are not as strong as they were before. Apple is beginning to notified developers who uses screen-recording code in their apps to either properly disclose it to users or remove it entirely if they want to keep their apps in the Apple Store. Apple’s response to this screen-recording controversy shows that its primary concern isn’t necessarily the analytics code itself, but the disclosure to users that such technology is being used. As of now, there is no privacy with apps because people inputs informations on their phones or devices, and it can be easier to access it. One of the new apple versions that I don’t like is how we can put in our credit card information and have it in a wallet app, in which, if found stolen it could be easily used.
    The thought of having potential job recruiters or companies recording everything the candidate or employers do is no respect of privacy. I think that since there is an option to accept or decline on follow requests, there should be the same option for screen-recording too. Although yes there would always be a positive outcome from screen-recording, such as, notifying on current news, using for entertainment, and for shopping and promoting, but then there are users who would abuse it for something negative and unnecessary. Developers have been up to date with different legal and technical terms that could make their app business work without any issues with Apple. Also, there are many legal issues and agreements on apps and websites. I feel people do not actually read, they just accept it, which can cause many issues if they do not follow the regulations as needed. Which is why Apple is doing the correct thing in notifying developers to use proper codes for their apps, either use it to or remove it entirely, and they would just have to work strongly together with Apple to avoid any trouble in having no business.

  30. Ashley Bock February 21, 2019 at 3:51 pm #

    The fact that many apps including well known apps such as “Air Canada, Expedia, Hotels.com, Hollister and other companies” (arstechnica.com), are using Apple’s screen recording technology in order for them to see what their users are doing. As I know, apps are constantly and continually tracking what users are doing, I was unaware they are literally recording their users’ screens while in the app. The use of Apple screen recording came out with the release of iOS 11 and is a very useful tool. This being said I understand why app developers would want to see how users utilize and navigate their app, but I feel that screen recording is definitely not the correct way to do so. I think that Apple is one hundred percent correct in their companies’ actions, in protecting the information of their customers. They are protecting information by being able to take away app certification from companies. This was done to both Facebook, and Google for “distributing iOS apps outside of the app store to non-employees” (arstechnica.com), thus allowing for user information and data to be obtained. Apple’s decision to have the companies who use screen recording on their users disclose this information is a step in the right direction. In a technological age of surveillance, capitalism and big data, most companies only care about how they can draw out more information from its users in order to make their technology better and bring in more money. Apple is giving app companies one day to disclose the fact that they are using this technology, or it will be closed down on the app store until they do so. So, this shows me that as a company, Apple, in this situation, although minimal in comparison to what could be done, does in fact care and value their customers as more than just “analytics” and data like that of many companies in today’s technological business world. This shows that the company, as a whole, cares about the identities of each user and wants to put forth some protection in order for the user to decide whether they wish to use the app or not that screen-records everything they tap, swipe or look at.

  31. Stephanie F. February 22, 2019 at 4:46 pm #

    When the implementation of screen recording was put into place during the ios 11 update, I was a bit skeptical about the security issues surrounding the new feature. No doubt that screen recording is a fantastic feature for iPhone users to have, but at what cost? The security and privacy issues revolving around this feature are endless now. I was not too surprised reading the article, considering all of the scandals surrounding Facebook and the other invasion of privacy cases that have occurred within the last few years. If these platforms are able to get away with using our information for so long and having access to our private messages, then why wouldn’t phone applications do the same?
    As unfortunate as it is, screen recording is dangerous and should be revoked for the sake of our privacy. In my computer information systems course, we studied the trend of smartphone usage and how it is the most accessible and common piece of technology used to surf the internet. With that said, surfing the internet also means being able to purchase items across different websites and applications. Our full name, address, bank information, credit card information, and other private material could be used at the discretion of hackers or application makers. There could be thousands of purchases everyday using smartphones and without knowing, someone could be recording that information.
    Application makers have no reason to record people’s information without their permission. The other question on my mind is to what extent does the recording take place? Unless the application is free, there will be checkout screens for people to make purchases within the applications. Do they also record that information? Cookies are already one way for creators to track our search history, but why is there a need for them to actually record our screen? People should be able to download an application and trust it if it is on the Apple store.
    I am pleased to hear that Apple is taking a stand and prohibiting application makers to use screen recording codes, but this should have not happened in the first place. If Apple has the ability to detect and immediately remove applications that have these codes written in them, then shouldn’t they have been removed to begin with? This is just speculation, but it appears that unless someone brings these issues to Apple’s attention, or any other major company handling secure information, the company will not do anything about it. This is apparent in cases like Facebook or any ancestry DNA company that have been involved with data breaches.
    In the U.S. Constitution, the right for privacy is alluded in the fourth amendment, which states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” (archives.gov/founding-docs). Since there was no digital properties at the time when this amendment was written, we can logically assume that the same rules apply to digital properties as well. Apple is moving into the right direction and I can only hope to see more immediate action from them in the future.

  32. Diamond Vasquez February 28, 2019 at 7:53 pm #

    I have heard about calls being recorded during a phone call, but I was never aware of a person may be recorded using an application on their phone. According to “Apple To Developers: Disclose Screen Recording or Get Booted from App Store,” published by Valentina Palladino, Apple has started to warn developers who use screen-recording code to “either properly disclose it to users or remove it entirely if they want to keep their apps in the App store.” It is shown that different apps, such as Glassbox and Expedia, have used screen-recording coding without notification to the user. The companies of these applications claim that it is for business purposes only; as Glassbox elaborates in the article, “Our goals are to improve online customer experiences and to protect consumers from a compliance perspective…” Though, Apple is firm on user privacy, and “demands a certain level of disclosure from all app developers with programs in the App Store,” as explained by Palladino; they are concerned about users being aware of the fact that these companies are using these coding systems so that their privacy is not being invaded. If the companies do not comply with the demands of Apple, their app will be removed from the App Store.
    It is shocking how our privacy is continuously being invaded not only with calls, but also when using applications on our phones, and we are unaware of whether or not we are being recorded when on the application. I agree with Apple’s demands; the users of the apps that demonstrate this screen-recording code show disclose their intentions of disclosing this feature because we all have the right to know whether or not we are being recorded, since we are the ones who are bringing these companies business and increasing their sales, and it is giving us the choice to whether or not we should use the app or not. It is unsafe to see know that we are being seen by different companies and have no consent to it because we are uninformed. I also agree with the repercussions that follow if the companies do not abide to Apple’s standards. We, as users, need to know ahead of time if we are being recorded just so we can know that our privacy is not being violated. This article was very informing and a great warning to us, users, around the world about different applications.

  33. Allya Jaquez March 1, 2019 at 10:05 am #

    So I would consider myself a user of screen recording when it comes to my Iphone. I use the Screen recording application to save funny videos that I see on my social media, either Instagram or Snapchat. I thought it was used for entertainment use because these social media apps never let us save videos into our camera roll. But after reading this article, I have actually learned a few new things on screen recording and what people actually use it for. I honestly think it is a little scary how a few apps have used the screen recording process without the users permission. Apps such as Glassbox and Expedia have done this and it is honestly pretty terrifying because you never know what they are listening to and how they can end up using that against you one day. Now I am thinking if I should even have screen recording in my Iphone because I definitely do not want people who I don’t even know listening to my conversations or even “watching over me” and view everything I am viewing. The fact that Apple is demanding them to stop what they are doing is a great thing because it just is not right to record people without their knowledge. So if they do not end up complying with Apple’s demands, their apps will be taken off of the App Store. I certainly agree that Apple is doing the right thing here and is trying their best to help their users.

  34. Luke Tyler March 1, 2019 at 3:58 pm #

    While we may think that our information online is safe especially when we use secure apps whose services we trust, the reality is that data security has become more of a problem as technology expands. Within the article Apple is starting to take a stance on apps that don’t disclose to their users that they are using screen recording code as a way to improve user experience. Though these recordings can help refine the functionality of apps, the issue is that sensitive data such as credit card information and social security numbers can be recorded without the consent or knowledge of users. To refute these practices Apple said that they will be removing Apps from the App Store if they do not disclose to users that there screen time is being recorded for the company’s use. Even though it might seem to be a PR move on Apple’s part, the company does care about the safety and privacy of it’s customers. Also the concerns raised by Apple are just a few when it comes to the age of “Big Data.” My personal concern is that apps do not give a choice for users to opt out of the recording and creates an issue where users are forced to suffer the breach of privacy if they want to continue using the apps. In my opinion apps should give users an option: they can refuse the recording or be offered a discount to help the company get information for quality control. After all the idea behind the screen recording is to help apps improve their experience and allows better functionality. Though these features would benefit the user, in the end the company could generate more revenue, therefore users should receive some sort of compensation for allowing companies to use their information. In the case of data consent, compensation is the only ethical way to ensure that users aren’t taken advantage of. In addition companies have to ensure that user data is protected and there is no chance of their information being stolen. As these concerns are more reoccurring everyday, consumers are finally taking their data protection seriously. After 57 million Uber accounts were hacked and the company never notified its customers, I was one of the many users that decided to switch to Lyft because the company ensured the protection of user information. More companies are starting to take different approaches to handling user data in an appropriate manner and consumers now have a new standard of what they expect in the age of data.

  35. Cameron Lindley March 1, 2019 at 5:21 pm #

    It’s nice to finally see some tech companies value our privacy, instead of trying to sell it for more money. In this day and age, based on how many things we store and see digitally, that users be guaranteed such basic privacy needs. I don’t understand why app developers even need access to what we see on our screens in the first place. Facebook is different, but simple app developers? that’s Trivial. This has put a lot more of my faith within Apple as it shows they are on the user’s side, which is reassuring. Most of these companies seem to be working behind the backs of their users to flip a quick profit from shady data mining, IE Facebook. Screen monitoring is even more-so worrisome because they could see us type in passwords, see the texts we type, and so in and so forth. Especially since Apple has such a powerful voice in the tech world, they could set the standard for other companies to follow. It amazes me that these companies are not on the user’s side, as they are the ones who drive revenue. In this age it is becoming increasingly more difficult to trust any company who has power over data, but it’s nice to know that Apple stands in our corner, which just makes me more loyal to Apple.

  36. Rachel Leto March 1, 2019 at 7:51 pm #

    I understand that today, it is very hard to get feedback about “What should we change to make our app easier to use?” People get frustrated easily with apps that do not work for them right away or have too many glitches. However, it is never right to not let someone know when activity on their phone is being recorded, even if the companies “swear” that none of the information is being used for the wrong reason. I believe that Apple is doing the right thing in acting this way towards these developers, even while knowing that they could lose lots of money if they decide to not do business with Apple anymore. Companies, like Google and Facebook, creating “research” apps to get into people’s browsing history and messages, is truly terrifying to know that they could know almost every single thing about you without you knowing.
    It is frightening because what if you are on the app that has this screen recording code and you happen to get a phone call, while still on the app? Does it record your entire phone conversation? Privacy needs to be enforced when it comes to people developing apps that people will be using almost every day. The simple notification that lets people know that the app they are using is screen recording what you are doing on the app gives the consumer a chance to make the decision if they want to continue on this app or not. Not giving that person a chance to decide and the do it without asking, seems very illegal. This is already happening when you go onto certain websites and just look for some products. I went on Under Armour’s website to look at some sports clothes and now on all of my social media, I get ads when they are having a sale on their clothing. Apple is making the right choice to be getting developers to quit while they are a head and give people their privacy back. Hopefully, this paves the way for other companies to think about and take this step as well.

  37. DeVante M. March 1, 2019 at 8:05 pm #

    This article is a bit troubling. With that being said this topic is also very fascinating. Screen recording is a relatively new feature that was brought to iPhones on IOS 11, this came out in September of 2018. There are many good uses for screen recording, however many applications have taken advantage of this. The article states that “many apps do not tell users that their activity is being monitored by screen-recording code.” This alone is very concerning, this was not Apple’s intention when they released screen recording. Air Canada, Hotels.com, Expedia and Hollister have been accused of not notifying users that their screens are being recorded in the app. One obvious concern is security. For example, If I was shopping on one of these apps I would eventually enter my payment information If I would like to make a purchase. My valuable information would then be seen by the app developers who claim “These “session replays” are designed to help developers work out kinks.” Payment information has already been compromised due to the privacy breach by these applications. Air Canada’s application takes things a step further. Their application not only monitors the users payment information but also their passport. This can lead to serious cases of identity theft. Perhaps the worst of it all is that users aren’t even notified that their screen is being recorded.
    I believe Apple has done the right thing in this situation. Condemning the actions of these app developers is the correct thing to do. Apple is not mad about screen recording in app, but more concerned with not notifying users. They told the application developers that they must disclose this feature to it’s users or remove it.
    I have not personally used these applications that have been accused of screen recording without knowledge. I would like to know which applications I am currently using that are doing the same thing, perhaps they have not been caught yet. It is not shocking however that app developers have used this new feature to try and gain an upper hand. I wonder if Apple thought things like this would happen when they released screen recording? I am also curious if any legal action can be taken against the app developers that have not disclosed that they are screen recording users.
    I am not so sure that Air Canada, Hotels.com, Expedia and Hollister are using the screen recording function to improve their app. As stated in the article there has already been a breach in security. Why can’t these apps simply use user reviews to make adjustments to their app? What does screen recording do for the app developers that user reviews can’t?
    This article has enlightened me onto this dire situation. Before reading this I had no clue app developers were being so sneaky in order to obtain information. Privacy concerns are at an all-time high in today’s world. In the future I wish that all apps will notify their users if they’re going to use screen recording.

  38. Michael Faris March 6, 2019 at 11:50 am #

    After reading the article, Apple to developers: disclose screen recording or get booted from the App Store, written by Valentina Palladino, my position stands next to Apple. In my opinion, app developers should disclose screen recording to users not only because it violates the ethics of the Apple industry, but also violates the user’s privacy. As a daily Apple customer, I enjoy the safety of exploring the iPhone whether it is on the internet, playing games, or using an app for school/work. However, I personally do not feel comfortable knowing that some apps are in fact screen recording my doings on their app. Along with many others, knowing if an app is screen recording my session or not is discrete and unnoticed. Although, the argument of “improving the app” is brought into the picture when it comes to privacy, I still do not think that is a good enough reason to screen record the user’s sessions as there are several ways to get around violating privacy and Apple’s business ethics such as, creating a website for feedback or leaving contact information for problems that may occur within the app. As a daily user of apps such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Venmo, I have always sent emails to the companies with my concerns of an error during a session on their app. This is an example of how companies that own apps can improve their databases and businesses without violating any form of privacy.
    However, I am not against the argument that apps should NEVER be allowed to screen record sessions. For example, when a customer has an issue on their apple device and they reach out to Apple Support, the tech will ask for their permission AND signature to screen record and take control of the phone. Not to mention, the phone call to Apple Support is indeed recorded as well. Apple, in my opinion, has set a great standard of how to respectively ask for permission of the user without violating their own codes of ethics and the user’s privacy. Apple also proves their success and happiness of customers as they are one of the biggest telephone and technology businesses in the world.

  39. Erick Plaza March 14, 2019 at 8:22 pm #

    Screen recording software allows a phone to convert the screen output into a video. I was not aware that there were apps in the Apple app store that were using this software without consumers’ consents, but I was delighted to hear that Apple is ready to take action on these apps that use this Screen Recording data to their advantage without consent. Apps such as Expedia and Hollister are two apps which I use often, and both apparently use unconsented screen recording data. This news makes me want to discontinue my use of the app, since I often input my credit card information and was not aware that it was being recorded. This is a huge violation of privacy, especially since I’m sure humans are reviewing these recordings to decide what processes to “improve” on.

    I do no have an issue with apps using data analytic software to improve my experience as a consumer, but myself and many consumers around the world were unaware that we were being recorded. There should always be a disclosure before these kind of software may be allowed to operate, especially when it comes to a possible exposure of personal data. For example, if a travel app decides to use this screen recording software to improve their user experience, and the user inputted their passport information in the app. There could be a person reviewing the data who decided they needed some extra cash, and now has access to thousands or million of consumer’s passport information to sell on the black market. The analyst doesn’t even have to sell it themselves, if a hacker happens to break into the company’s servers, then they would have access to all the screen recordings with sensitive information.

    As technology gets more sophisticated, I believe the government should intervene with these companies and emphasize the importance of privacy with consumers. In today’s society, we strongly depend on technology and store a lot of sensitive information in these devices. I am glad Apple is taking action towards these companies using this software without consent, but what about the apps on Google’s app store? Data analytics should not be allowed to happen without the consumer’s consent, it is a violation of privacy and should be not tolerated.

  40. Niall El-Adawy April 29, 2019 at 6:45 pm #

    Ever since the birth of 21st century technology, privacy has become futile. It does not surprise me that apps are not properly telling their users that their information is subject to screen recording. People input valid information into apps every single day, whether it be their date of birth to their credit card and social security number. What apps intend to do with that information is beyond me, but the fact that they can obtain it is sickening enough. in a sense, it’s like blackmail, knowing that these companies can withhold your information for whatever they see fit to use it for and yet somehow we can not interfere with what’s going on. Apple has definitely made an appropriate approach with fitting consequences toward apps that are secretly screen recording information. We are people, not data; we should not have to worry about whose eyes see our information and what they could possibly do with it. Whether it goes up to The Cloud to be stored and never seen again or if it sits in front of someone else’s eyes, our information should never have gotten their regardless. Our nation needs to rethink their approach to what companies can and can not do with our information, because it is beyond unjust for our lives to be put under a microscope for “data”

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