What you need to know
- Apple is rejecting coronavirus apps on the App Store.
- Only apps from government agencies and health organizations are currently allowed.
- The company is attempting to prevent the spread of misinformation.
Apple is rejecting coronavirus-centered apps from independent developers in an effort to prevent the spread of misinformation. Reported by CNBC, the company is currently only recognizing apps from verifiable sources like government agencies and hospitals.
Four independent developers contacted CNBC to say that their apps, which would allow users to gather information about the virus, had been rejected by Apple. An Apple employee told one developer that only apps from "official health organization or government" sources would be published on the App Store. Another was told that "apps with information about current medical information need to be submitted by a recognized institution".
According to someone familiar with the matter, Apple has been looking closely at coronavirus apps in order to prevent the spread of misinformation. The company is evaluating not only the sources of where the information comes from in the apps but also if the developer represents an organization that the public can trust for accurate data, such as a government agency or health organization.
Morgan Reed, president of the App Association, an industry group that represents app developers, says that the industry as a whole is working to ensure that misinformation is prevented.
"Right now the technology industry is working very hard to ensure the platforms are not being used to provide people with false or, even worse, dangerous information about the coronavirus ... We are seeing significant pressure inside and outside to halt applications and advertisements before they harm citizens."
Apple's current scrutiny around coronavirus apps appears to be working as there are few results in the App Store when you search for the term.