Apple Explains Guidelines Update Doesn’t Prohibit Casual Dating Apps

Apple has made further clarifications to its App Store guidelines after a recent update appeared to prohibit casual dating and hookup apps.

In the ‘Safety – Objectionable Content’ section, guideline 1.1.4 bans “overtly sexual or pornographic material” and makes a reference to “hookup apps”. Some commentators thought this update was targeting dating apps, specifically those in casual LGBTQ demographic.

However, a spokesperson for Apple confirmed to AppleInsider that the ruling only applies to the products that are using dating as a cover for more illicit activities. This includes general pornography, prostitution and human trafficking.

All legitimate dating apps are free to continue operating as usual and are unlikely to have ever been at risk of being taken down. The spokesperson also added that the update was first made to crack down on new scam apps before they made their way onto the store.

The wording on the official guidelines have now been improved, which should hopefully prevent any further misunderstandings.

Apple also recently changed the way that app developers gain permission to gather their users data and distribute it to third-party advertisers. 

Developers are now required to show pop-up notifications and give users the ability to make conscious decisions about what happens to their data. Analysts believe that less than one-third of consumers will opt-in, while Bumble expected that number to be under one-fifth.

However, Apple’s user privacy chief Erik Neuenschwander told Reuters in April that developers could easily increase opt-in rates, as long as they communicate their messages clearly and honestly.

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