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Hundreds of apps pulled from Apple’s Store because they stored personal information

Hundreds of apps that collect users’ personal information have been pulled from the Apple App Store today.

The apps all used a software development kit (SDK) from Chinese developer Youmi, and all share one thing in common — they access personal information through APIs once installed on iOS devices. Information collected includes Apple IDs and email addresses, peripheral serial numbers and a list of other apps installed on the device.

A report by SourceDNA has identified 256 apps using the Youmi SDK.

“We’ve identified a group of apps that are using a third-party advertising SDK, developed by Youmi, a mobile advertising provider, that uses private APIs to gather private information, such as user email addresses and device identifiers, and route data to its company server,” Apple said in a statement.

“This is a violation of our security and privacy guidelines. The apps using Youmi’s SDK have been removed from the App Store and any new apps submitted to the App Store using this SDK will be rejected. We are working closely with developers to help them get updated versions of their apps that are safe for customers and in compliance with our guidelines back in the App Store quickly.”

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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.