Apple & Google To Ban Apps Using Location Tracking Tech From X-Mode If Devs Don’t Remove The Tracking Tech

Have you heard of a company called X-Mode? Chances are you haven’t. But it is likely that your apps on your phone use their tech. Here’s how it works. X-Mode obtains location data from apps on the App Store and Google Play Store and sells that information to contractors associated with the U.S. military and national security industry.

Charming.

Both Apple and Google are now taking steps to ban apps with X-Mode tracking tech in them says The Wall Street Journal:

The Journal reported last month that X-Mode was collecting data from phones running its software about nearby “Internet of Things” devices such as fitness trackers and automobiles. That data was being made available to a company called SignalFrame that had received a small grant from the military and had been trying to win other national security-related contracts.

In addition, Vice News reported last month that X-Mode drew some of its location information from apps with a predominantly Muslim user base, such as a dating app called Muslim Mingle and a prayer app called Muslim Pro, though the company also has software embedded in many other kinds of apps.

In response to questions from the Journal, X-Mode said it was re-evaluating its government work and that its contracts prevent anyone from linking a device to personal information such as a name, address or email address.

That didn’t make Apple and Google happy. Google developers have seven days, while Apple is reportedly giving their developers two weeks. If they fail to meet those targets, the apps get banned. Some developers want Apple and Google to reconsider this. But I don’t see either company changing their minds. Nor should they. There is clearly something sketchy going on here and it is good to see both Apple and Google taking action to protect their users.

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