From 2020 to 2022, Apple has rejected 958,000 applications from appearing on the App Store due to privacy violations, according to Atlas VPN, a “freemium”VPN service.
Apple has shared three annual reports on App Store fraud prevention since 2020, detailing how many fraudulent transactions they stopped, how many apps were rejected, user and developer accounts terminated, and similar data. Atlas VPN has analyzed all three of those reports in a single article to find trends and get a broader view of Apple’s App Store moderation efforts. Here are some details of the report:
° The number of applications rejected due to privacy issues keeps increasing exponentially, from 215,000 rejections in 2020 to 400,000 in 2022.
° Since 2020, Apple has prevented over $5.09 billion in potentially fraudulent payments and blocked 10.2 stolen credit cards from transacting.
° Apple has implemented various measures to protect user privacy, including app review guidelines, privacy labels, and app tracking transparency features.
° The app tracking transparency feature added to App Store’s infrastructure in 2021 requires apps to ask users for permission to track them.
° Another privacy-related feature is email address shielding which makes it harder for third parties to link users’ web activity across different services.
One of the main arguing points by Tim Cook as to why sideloading and third-party app stores should not be allowed is privacy issues: “data-hungry companies would be able to avoid our privacy rules, and once again track our users against their will,” he worryingly stated in IAPP conference in Washington, D.C. last year.
Apple’s stance on third-party app stores has faced criticism and scrutiny from developers and regulators who argue that it limits competition and innovation.
The App Store is a significant revenue source for Apple, as they take a 30% commission on most app purchases and in-app transactions. Allowing third-party app stores could potentially disrupt this financial model and revenue stream.