Last month, data broker X-Mode made the news when it sold user location data from Muslim Pro to the US military. The makers of the app has since cut ties with the data broker. And now, Apple and Google are following suit.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that both companies have told developers to remove X-Mode tracking software from apps within their respective app stores. Failure to comply would result in losing access to devices running either Android or iOS. Google has given app makers a week to do so, while allowing some to apply for a 30-day extension. Apple, on the other hand, has decided to give devs two weeks.
In response to the report, X-Mode says that it is re-evaluating its government contracts. But at the same time, the company also said that the very same contracts prevented third parties from linking device data to users’ personally identifiable information. It also claims that the data it collects are similar to other advertising SDKs. Banning it also would have broader implications in the ad ecosystem.
On one hand, it’s a move you’d expect Apple to make, considering its consistency in claiming to fight for privacy. But it’s difficult to say the same for Google. After all, the internet search giant’s primary source of income is ads.