Apple Pulls App Clueful from App Store Under Cloud of Suspicion

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While we love Apple and Apple products, they surprised many iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users by pulling popular app, Clueful, from the app store. In a move that seems suspiciously shrouded in mystery, Apple pulled the app under the same set of rules that the app was approved, prompting Clueful development company, Bitfender, to immediately begin working on redeveloping the app so that it could be re-approved. While Bitfender has been made privy to the reasons why the app was pulled, it cannot publicly divulge that information due to the iOS App Developer’s contract.

Clueful is an app that allows iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users to see how the free apps on their phones are accessing and using their personal information. While Clueful does not analyze data from all apps in the Apple App Store, it does tap into over 60,000 of the most popular apps on the market. Some of the criticisms of Clueful is that it both costs money (3.99 to download) and that it does not access data from paid apps, only free apps.


Bitdefender remains positive that they will work their way back into Apple’s good graces after some tweaks to the current app, with chief security researcher Catalin Cosoi stating: “While Clueful remains off the App Store, we are working hard toward understanding why our app was removed and to develop the app to improve its chances of staying there.”

Still, it does seem a bit suspicious that the app was pulled, given all of the data that Clueful has amassed from the apps it has accessed. From the users who have downloaded the app so far, Clueful has found that over 40% of apps do not encrypt the personal data of users before it sends it over public Wi-Fi, over 40% can track a user’s location, almost one in five can access all of the user’s Address Book and some apps even send private user information to the cloud without encrypting it. All of this leaves the question, was there information that Apple was worried might be found out? And if so, was it to their user’s, or their own, detriment? Either way, Clueful stated on its own website that, “Clueful was created under the belief that iPhone owners should be able to learn which apps may be behaving unscrupulously with their personal data. The Clueful team reaffirms its commitment to continued development of Clueful and will resubmit to Apple.”

And with the kind of data that Clueful seems to be gathering, we certainly hope that they are able to find their way back to the app store!

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No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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One thought on “Apple Pulls App Clueful from App Store Under Cloud of Suspicion

  1. Why have they been removed it hour notifying me, I spent real money on that game and now it’s gone :'(

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