Apple and Google have recently removed over 300 binary options trading apps from the App Store and Google Play store respectively, according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
A spokesperson for Apple said it removed the apps globally in accordance with its recently updated App Store Review Guidelines:
Apps that facilitate binary options trading are not permitted on the App Store. Consider a web app instead.
MacRumors easily discovered at least five apps that still appear to facilitate binary options trading on the App Store. Apple's guidelines clearly state that binary options trading apps are no longer permitted on the App Store, so it's unclear why some remain available to download, and whether they'll soon be removed.
The trading apps encouraged users to make bets on whether instruments like shares or currencies will rise or fall, according to Bloomberg. However, many of them were unlicensed and failed to outline the risks of trading binary options, and some merely collected personal information, according to ASIC.
Many of the trading apps subject to surveillance by ASIC contained statements which appeared to be misleading about the profitability of trading and the amount of profit that could be made, the regulator said. One of the apps, for example, advertised that users could profit in as quickly as 60 seconds.
"In an age where technology can hide who is offering and controlling a product, buyer beware has never been so important," said ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour. "If something appears too good to be true, it probably is."