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New App Store Guidelines Officially Ban Virus Scanning Apps, Prevent Kids From Using Face ID

Apple this week updated its App Store Review Guidelines for developers, tweaking some existing rules and adding new rules that dictate what developers can and can't include in their apps. Most of the changes introduced are modest and reflect policies that Apple has already put in place, but there are some notable additions.

Rule 2.3.1, which says developers should not include hidden or undocumented features in apps, has been updated with new language that expressly prevents developers from creating iOS-based virus and malware scanners.
Similarly, you should not market your app on the App Store or offline as including content or services that it does not actually offer (e.g. iOS-based virus and malware scanners). Egregious or repeated behavior is grounds for removal from the Developer Program. We work hard to make the App Store a trustworthy ecosystem and expect our app developers to follow suit; if you're dishonest, we don't want to do business with you.
Apple has been removing anti-virus and anti-malware apps from the App Store since 2015, in an effort to prevent customers from believing that it's possible for iOS devices to contract viruses and malware. Popular anti-virus app VirusBarrier, for example, was pulled from the App Store in March of 2015. Though there's been an unspoken ban on many of these apps, it's now official.

Apple's new App Store rules also make it clear that children under 13 will not be permitted to use the Face ID facial scanning feature in the iPhone X. Rule 2.5.13 says apps using facial recognition for account authentication must offer an alternate authentication method for users under 13 years old.

Furthermore, Apple requests that all apps using ARKit provide "rich and integrated augmented reality experiences," preventing apps from misusing the feature for simple implementations.
Apps using ARKit should provide rich and integrated augmented reality experiences; merely dropping a model into an AR view or replaying animation is not enough.
Apple's newly updated App Store Guidelines are available on its developer website.

iOS 11, which introduces ARKit, a revamped App Store, and a long list of other features and design changes will be released to the public next Tuesday, on September 19.



Top Rated Comments

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10 months ago
Good. iOS apps run in a sandbox. Virus scanning apps might as well not exist. They do nothing.
Rating: 25 Votes
10 months ago
"if you're dishonest, we don't want to do business with you."

I loved the phrase.
Rating: 18 Votes
10 months ago

Could someone explain to me why kids at age 13 or under can't use face ID? I like a rationale answer here. Safety issue? Predatorial-stuff issue? Or is it because they'll buy stuff without letting their parents know?


Probably because it would violate COPPA ('https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/childrens-online-privacy-protection-rule') in the U.S. without additional messaging to age check the user.
Rating: 14 Votes
10 months ago
Whats to keep a 13 year old from lying about his age ?
Rating: 8 Votes
10 months ago
Could someone explain to me why kids at age 13 or under can't use face ID? I like a rationale answer here. Safety issue? Predatorial-stuff issue? Or is it because they'll buy stuff without letting their parents know?
Rating: 7 Votes
10 months ago

Could someone explain to me why kids at age 13 or under can't use face ID? I like a rationale answer here. Safety issue? Predatorial-stuff issue? Or is it because they'll buy stuff without letting their parents know?

I’d personally want a rational answer why parents would get their kids a $1000 smartphone
Rating: 7 Votes
10 months ago

As the saying goes "A fool and his money are soon parted." While I respect and appreciate Apple's goal, there'll be other methods that some malicious developers will use to dupe people out of their money. It's up to end users to determine the value of an app and read reviews. There should also be a 24 hour grace period for refunds.


Apple know that virus scanning apps are at best useless and often outright malicious. Given that they review each developer submission how are they ending up on the App Store in the first place?

It isn't up to the users to police the platform.
Rating: 5 Votes
10 months ago

Good. iOS apps run in a sandbox. Virus scanning apps might as well not exist. They do nothing.

Not true. They scan the "anti-virus" app sandbox partition for a virus.

That's something. So if the anti-virus app catches a virus, you will know.

:D

/s.... (for the sarcasm impaired)
Rating: 3 Votes
10 months ago

Source? Because my first thought would be so people don't give permissions to scam apps that will steal information


It was the explanation given to the developer of VirusBarrier when his app was removed from the App Store.

//www.macrumors.com/2015/03/19/apple-removing-anti-virus-apps-from-app-store/
Rating: 3 Votes
10 months ago
Whew, I was worried about other app classifications getting pulled! I just released Farty Time 3 (a big upgrade over Farty Time 2) and was concerned about fourth quarter revenues.
Rating: 3 Votes

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