back to article Apple boots privacy name-and-shame app Clueful from store

Apple has pulled from its App Store a utility that revealed how the software installed on iPhones is fondling punters' data. The Clueful app was created by security company Bitdefender and approved to go on sale in May. However, the privacy tool was yanked this week for reasons that are unclear. Clueful analyses apps …

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  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. tony2heads
    Black Helicopters

    reasons unclear??

    I can think of a few reasons (see logo)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It is unclear why Apple removed Clueful. As ever, the Foxconn-marketing biz chose not to comment on its App Store ruling."

    Is it? I don't think so. It's cause the foxconn rebrander is as bent as a thrupenny bit! The iSheep dont care, or should I say don't undersatnd the relevance.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. LinkOfHyrule
    Pint

    Foxconn-marketing biz

    We need to invent a drinking game, where every time Foxconn is mentioned on this website in an Apple story, we have to down a pint a pint of cider!

    They'll be a few IT people sacked for being sozzoled on the job within a week for sure! Better make sure that park bench has wifi!

    1. Miek
      Trollface

      Re: Foxconn-marketing biz

      Cider! EEEuuggghh!

      1. LinkOfHyrule
        Holmes

        Re: Foxconn-marketing biz

        Yeah cider - 'cus it's Apples aint it!

        Not sure what drink you'd have to play the Microsoft version of this game - probably the nearest liquid would be raw untreated sewage! Or Grolsch!

        1. tony2heads
          Pint

          Grolsch

          Defaming a beer! For shame!

          It should be castor oil (or perhaps syrup of figs)

          1. Jediben
            Joke

            Re: Grolsch

            Windowlene? Yes it would make the games a bit shorter but the victor would have a tale to tell!

            1. LinkOfHyrule
              Thumb Up

              Re: Grolsch

              Windowlene of course! <--upvoted

              Now Linux... hmmm, the juice of four freshly squeezed penguins me think? The birds not the chocolate bar!

        2. Aaron Em

          Re: Foxconn-marketing biz

          Well, mostly apples.

          The Microsoft version would be played I think with something like Thunderbird or Ripple -- i.e., fortified wine; that is, cheap and nasty, but it gets the job done.

        3. toadwarrior

          Re: Foxconn-marketing biz

          But when's the last time they've resorted to name calling and childish behaviour with microsoft?

          It's not hard to see microsoft advertises here a lot and they also happen to get the best treatment out of all the big companies. Apple ignores them so they're most butt hurt about apple and yet they also feel the need to talk about apple all the time. It'd be far more interesting to see more news about Linux but I guess that won't draw in the viewers.

          1. stephajn

            Re: Foxconn-marketing biz

            Maybe the Reg should be renamed to the Microsoft marketing biz? Especially considering those obnoxious ads they were displaying about the private Microsoft cloud that appeared and would suddenly drop the screen about a third of the way down and turn everything a sanitarium blue.

            1. Aaron Em

              There are ads on El Reg?

              When did that happen?

            2. mhenriday
              Boffin

              Wow ! I'd never have thought that we'd be hearing from

              Reg readers who couldn't find their way to Adblock Plus and therewith avoid a mass of crappy advertising from Microsoft and others of that ilk ! But then, of course, one does have to be using a half-way decent browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, for the extension to be supported - IE users need not apply....

              Henri

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Analyse?

    Since all third-party iOS apps are sandboxed, this app must be pulling info on other apps from its own internal database, as technically, it could not "analyse apps installed". The most it could do is check for running apps and match the process name against its own database.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Analyse?

      It could also use URL scheme detection, by apps that expose that. But yeah not a fool proof method as they themselves admit on their FAQ:

      "Why do apps I have not installed sometimes appear in MyApps list?

      Sorry about that!Due to iOS limitations set in place for your own good, Clueful sometimes misfires, detecting apps you might not have, or detecting an app twice.To get rid of the offending entry, just swipe the app from right to left and tap I don't have this!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Analyse?

      Probably just an app that read debug logs or pulls in data from their site on the web.

      You can see why it may get pulled, it could be making false or inaccurate accusations.

      1. sleepy

        Re: Analyse?

        Exactly, it can't have been analysing what each app was actually doing. So it's more a "here's what Bitdefender thinks of your Apps" application masquerading as something more insightful and authoritative.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another Apple Boot to the Head

    Apple traditionally bans developers and product that does not conform to the delusional teachings of Saint Jobs. No fawning? No scraping? Then on yer bike.

    If you do not think everyone in Cupertino has angel wings and halos you are kicked to the curb in minutes. The new Apple HQ is being built for less because they do not need sewer vents. Their crap never stinks.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not hard to guess why

    Apps had to be analysed by humans over at Bitdefender and then re-checked at every update. This wasn't happening very fast with many apps showing outdated ratings and misleading users.

    Clueful didn't know which version of the apps you had installed either, so they couldn't tell how up to date the results were.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not hard to guess why

      but very easy to speculate it seems......

    2. toadwarrior
      Meh

      Re: Not hard to guess why

      A logical response getting down voted? That's shocking.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alert

    It's our walled-garden, no looking

    OK?

  9. jubtastic1
    WTF?

    Obvious isn't it?

    Either the app was breaking out of its sandbox to analyse other apps, or it was relying on an external database to report on other apps, from the article it's clear it was the latter and further that said database was often inaccurate.

    Booted for failing the 'works as advertised' test.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obvious isn't it?

      OR, you'll say anything to protect the *sniggers* integrity *grins* of your beloved Apple/iPhone.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clueful could be nice

    and publish those results on the web, yes?

    Oh wait they wanted £2.49 for their app and didn't even list the thousand or so apps they had actually checked (which were only free apps anyway)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Accessing the address book

    The tool may just be alarmist. Just because you use the API to access the address book, it doesn't mean you're uploading it all to your server. An app I've written for example load this data so it can present it in a way that can be multi-selected allowing the user to send emails.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Accessing the address book

      "because you use the API to access the address book, it doesn't mean you're uploading it all to your server"

      Your kidding right!

      And just because your staring at page 3, it doesn't mean your thinking how good it would be to give her some jewels, like your pearl necklace, yeah?

  12. Code Monkey
    Thumb Down

    "for reasons that are unclear"

    "Because we said so" - Apple

  13. adnim

    Apple

    Should provides a free app that does this, an app that pops up a warning every time any application accesses any data that is even slightly personal or any data which may aid in the identification of the user.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple

      ...they do. It's built right in to iOS.

      If an app wants access to your location or address book for example, it has to ask your permission.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple

        Well you can prove *anything* with facts.

  14. g e
    Holmes

    Maybe it's because

    I'm a Londoner IOS6 has shit in it they don't want the app exposing.

  15. K
    Thumb Up

    As ever, the Foxconn-marketing biz

    .. OMG, that made me piss myself with laughter.. you've now definitely lost your ticket to the iPhone 5

  16. fourThirty
    Pirate

    For those that want to check it out...

    ... The revoked App is still available on Installous 5, for those who have scaled the walled garden via JB

    Quite an interesting App, which shows just how much data is exposed via other Apps, with or without your permission.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Lack of transparency

    Less technically savvy users could get a little scared by an app which tells them how their data is being used, possibly?

    What pisses me off no end about Apple, is that they just never say why - there's ZERO transparency.

    Remember that good old 1984 advert, waaaay back in the day?

    There's more than a little irony in the fact that Apple seem to have become what they despised about IBM.

    The Jobs reality distortion field often bordered on Doublespeak.

    If you read the biography, it's clear Jobs held consumers, generally, in contempt.

    "I'll tell them what's good for them because they don't know themselves"

    Sure, Apple products are slick, but it's the ethos that bugs the hell out of me.

    Ultimately, however, it's about choice - and if you use Apple, they tend to choose for you...

  18. Craigness

    If you want to know what your apps have access to, even before you install them, choose Android.

    1. toadwarrior
      Trollface

      You mean if you want a choice between a couple very vague options that give them access to too much then yes you are right.

  19. Craigness
    FAIL

    1. There are many permissions a developer can use, not a couple.

    2. The descriptions shown to users are quite detailed, not vague.

    3. If the developer wants to access things you don't want them to, you know about it and can refuse the update/install.

    4. Android haters always lose.

  20. Nick De Plume
    Devil

    Goes against the philosophy

    Even if the info in the app is not 100% accurate, it is also aptly named Clueful. Anyhow, an app's fitness for purpose is irrelevant to it's acceptance into the App Store (if this wasn't the case App Store would be a lot less populous).

    But that would go against the unwritten rules about opaqueness. Apple must protect the illusion that App Store is Always Safe and Cuddly.

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