11th May, 2021 at 5:38 pm by June
- Facebook’s WhatsApp has announced that users that don’t accept a new set of terms and conditions will be barred from certain features of the messaging app.
- This move goes against Apple’s App Store policies, which explicitly state that such behavior is strictly prohibited.
- If WhatsApp implements the announced changes, the app could be removed from the App Store.
Quoting the App Store guideline 3.2.2 (vi):
Apps should allow a user to get what they’ve paid for without performing additional tasks, such as posting on social media, uploading contacts, checking in to the app a certain number of times, etc. Apps should not require users to rate the app, review the app, watch videos, download other apps, tap on advertisements, enable tracking, or take other similar actions in order to access functionality, content, use the app, or receive monetary or other compensation, including but not limited to gift cards and codes.
Therefore, WhatsApp’s actions are not allowed under the App Store guidelines, which could result in the removal of the app from the App Store, or termination of their developer account, according to Apple’s policies.
The U.S. government, which had written to WhatsApp last month to withdraw the proposed changes to its privacy rules and had sought clarifications on a set of queries from it, told the court that the companies can't share data of users which must be protected. WhatsApp and Facebook refuted allegations of data sharing.
We have reached out to Apple Developer Relations about this, and will update this article if we receive a response from the company.