Apple, Google tell developers to remove location tracing tech
Apple and Google have given app developers seven days or more to remove the location tracing software from a company called X-Mode Social from their apps or face ban on App Store and Play Store.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the companies have banned X-Mode from collecting any location data from smartphones running their operating systems.
"Both Apple and Google disclosed their decision to ban X-Mode to investigators working for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), who has been conducting an investigation into the sale of location data to government entities," the report said this week.
X-Mode works by giving developers code to put into their apps, known as an SDK, which tracks users' location and then sends that data to X-Mode, which sells it.
In return, X-Mode pays the developer a certain amount based on how many users the app has, reports The Verge.
According to the company, its technology is being used in more than 400 apps.
A review by Apple found 100 apps made by 30 developers contained X-Mode's software.
Apple is giving developers two weeks and Google is giving developers one week to remove X-Mode SDK from their apps.
X-Mode has been the subject of several media reports about its defense work.
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.
X-Mode reportedly said it was re-evaluating its government work.