Jun 12, 2018

Apple limits how Apps can use iPhone owners' personal contacts

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Last week Apple began limiting how developers share information about iPhone owners’ contacts, per Bloomberg. This cuts out a practice that’s been used for years in which developers ask users for access to their phone contacts and sometimes use it for marketing purposes.

Why it matters: Sharing information about Facebook users’ friends without their explicit knowledge is what got Facebook in hot water with Cambridge Analytica in the first place. This move comes as Apple is looking to distance itself and its platform from the sorts of data abuse seen through Facebook's situation and the political backlash that comes with it.

The business: The newly-barred practice has occasionally been aimed at propping up revenue. The latest change also forbids selling those contact databases with third parties.

  • Apple has made very few changes to its rules on contact lists, per Bloomberg. There was one change Apple rolled out in 2012 to allow users to approve what data on contacts was uploaded by developers.

Be smart: Apple can’t change the fact that contact information has already been shared through this practice. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, has been taking swipes at Facebook about user and data privacy, but this move on apps somewhat clashes with their expressed values.

The surprise: Apple made several other changes to its App Store rules last week at its annual developer conference — including banning cryptocurrency mining, changing its stance on free trials, and limiting tracking of web browsing — but this announcement of data sharing restrictions wasn’t made public at the conference.

Go deeper

The aftermath of George Floyd's death: Everything you need to know

A mural outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, near where George Floyd was killed in an encouner with police. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is in jail under $500,000 bail on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter after a video of him kneeling on George Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes and Floyd's death catapulted the country's major cities into a state of protest.

The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Live updates: SpaceX attempts to launch NASA astronauts Saturday

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad. Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

At 3:22 p.m. ET today, SpaceX is expected to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the first time.

Why it matters: The liftoff — should it go off without a hitch — will be the first time a private company has launched people to orbit. It will also bring crewed launches back to the U.S. for the first time in nine years, since the end of the space shuttle program.

Follow along below for live updates throughout the day...

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,968,693— Total deaths: 365,796 — Total recoveries — 2,520,587Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,749,846 — Total deaths: 102,900 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Economy: The future of mobility in the post-pandemic worldGeorge Floyd's killing and economic calamity are both part of America's unfinished business.
  4. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  5. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  6. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  7. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.