Apple restricts 'health pass' apps to developers working with recognized health authoritie...

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in iOS
Apple on Tuesday elaborated on so-called "health pass" apps, saying the health check and building admittance apps must be developed by a company with relations to public health authorities.

Clear


Outlined in a post to Apple's developer website, the new rules seek to keep user data safe amid an ever-changing coronavirus response.

With the advent of COVID-19 vaccines, the App Store has experienced an influx of "health pass" apps that generate digital credentials for entering buildings and accessing in-person services, Apple says. These apps rely on testing and vaccination records, meaning they tap into and potentially store sensitive user data.

To ensure users within Apple's ecosystem are protected, the company is limiting "health pass" apps to developers working with entities recognized by public health authorities that are denoted as test kit manufacturers, laboratories, and healthcare providers. The restriction is also in place to verify reliable functionality, Apple says.

Beyond individual developers, the App Store accepts COVID-19 apps submitted directly by government, medical, and other credentialed institutions.

Apps and services that provide digital credentials avowing COVID-19 status or vaccine protection are seeing accelerated adoption as the pandemic rages. For example, the Clear app and its corresponding digital kiosk system is being used for screening at a variety of airports, sports stadiums and other venues in the U.S.

The new app rule follows Apple's strict guidance on coronavirus-related titles. Nearly a year ago, when the pandemic was in its early stages, the company proactively employed a policy that rejected apps not developed by recognized institutions. That decision laid the groundwork for subsequent precautions build into projects like the Apple-Google Exposure Notification API.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,257member
    Sounds like the proper way to go. We need private information kept private, not broadcast all over the place like Facebook of Google would do. 
    Anilu_777MplsPlolliver
  • Reply 2 of 7
    I like this.  It keeps the App Store’s offerings up to a high level which inspires confidence.  When it comes to health data I would encourage Apple to strongly err on the side of caution and recognized sources.
    pujones1lolliver
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Good move. I can’t wait until the update comes so I can see what apps are tracking me and opt out. These health apps need better security. 
  • Reply 4 of 7
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,803member
    Wait for it:
    Apple sued by company making false Covid 19 Clean Certificates. The company will claim that Apple is being an abusive monopoly by restricting their trade. They will demand $1billion. Later it will be found that the company is partially owned by Epic Games.
    GeorgeBMaclolliver
  • Reply 5 of 7
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    DAalseth said:
    Wait for it:
    Apple sued by company making false Covid 19 Clean Certificates. The company will claim that Apple is being an abusive monopoly by restricting their trade. They will demand $1billion. Later it will be found that the company is partially owned by Epic Games.

    ^^^^^ THIS!  ^^^^^^

    It sounds to me like this has less to do with user privacy than it does blocking scammers from corrupting a necessary public health function.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    DAalseth said:
    Wait for it:
    Apple sued by company making false Covid 19 Clean Certificates. The company will claim that Apple is being an abusive monopoly by restricting their trade. They will demand $1billion. Later it will be found that the company is partially owned by Epic Games.
    Didn’t this happen a few weeks ago?

    Apple rejected a COVID tracking app that wasn’t affiliated with anything that looked official. 
    DAalseth
  • Reply 7 of 7
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,956member
    rob53 said:
    Sounds like the proper way to go. We need private information kept private, not broadcast all over the place like Facebook of Google would do. 
    Completely agree. Keep information private, and preserve the integrity of the platform.
    lolliver
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