The Privacy-Not-Included Edition Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Mental Health Apps Have Terrible Privacy Protections, Report Finds, by Nicole Wetsman, The Verge

In the latest iteration of the guide, the team analyzed 32 mental health and prayer apps. Of those apps, 29 were given a “privacy not included” warning label, indicating that the team had concerns about how the app managed user data. The apps are designed for sensitive issues like mental health conditions, yet collect large amounts of personal data under vague privacy policies, the team said in the statement. Most apps also had poor security practices, letting users create accounts with weak passwords despite containing deeply personal information.

How Meditation Apps Became A Billion-Dollar Industry, by Newsy

There isn't a ton of information or studies on the effects of meditation and mindfulness, but the research we do have seems to suggest it might help. Plus, making that more accessible can make a difference.

New Study Used Apple Watch To Detect Weak Heart Pump In Patients, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

A medical study performed by Mayo Clinic used Apple Watch electrocardiogram data coupled with a custom algorithm to remotely detect a weak heart pump in patients.

A group of 2,454 Mayo Clinic patients with an iPhone and an Apple Watch with ECG functionality participated in the study. The research concluded that an Apple Watch ECG coupled with a well-developed algorithm could enable the early diagnosis of a weak heart pump.

On App Stores

Apple Pay Is Anticompetitive, Says EU In Preliminary Ruling, by James Vincent and Thomas Ricker, The Verge

Apple has been hit with an antitrust accusation by the European Union over its exclusion of rivals from its Apple Pay mobile payment system. The EU has sent Apple a formal “Statement of Objections” with the preliminary view that Apple has abused its dominant position in mobile wallets on iOS.

“The Commission takes issue with the decision by Apple to prevent mobile wallets app developers, from accessing the necessary hardware and software (‘NFC input’) on its devices, to the benefit of its own solution, Apple Pay,” reads the decision. “Today’s Statement of Objections takes issue only with the access to NFC input by third-party developers of mobile wallets for payments in stores.”

Dutch Regulator Still Unsatisfied With Apple's Rules Surrounding Dating Apps, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In a statement obtained by journalist Nando Kasteleijn, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) said that while Apple eliminating its requirement for Dutch dating apps to create a separate app binary in order to accept alternative payments was an improvement, the company has yet to fully comply with Dutch and European regulations. The statement did not outline the specific conditions that Apple has yet to comply with.

The App Store Improvements Process Makes No Sense, by Jeff Johnson

If Apple had said all apps that have not been updated within the last three years must update, that would have made sense. There would be major complaints, of course, but at least it would have made sense. Alternatively and separately, if Apple has said all apps that fail to meet a minimal download threshold would be removed, that would again cause complaints but would nonetheless make some sense. The combination of these two criteria, though, is just… bizarre.


Apple Integrates Two New Smart Water Bottles With Health App, by David Snow, Cult of Mac

Are you drinking enough water? Probably not. But if you want to know for sure, Apple’s online and retail stores have started selling two new smart water bottles from HidrateSpark. They automatically track your water intake and sync it to the Apple Health app.


Don’t Call Tony Fadell An Asshole—He Prefers ‘Mission Driven’, by Steven Levy, Wired

The mission-driven person has a why. You ask, over and over, questions like, “Why are we doing this? Why are we doing it that way?” You really get into the details, because the details matter. And you say, “That's not good enough.” Other people are about their own ego. They're focused on their next promotion or their bonus or what Wall Street thinks about their performance. A lot of books were written about how Steve was like that. No, no, no, they don't understand. They’re confusing a person who wants to get it right with somebody who's just controlling.

Apple $95 Million Deal Over iPhone Replacements Gets Final Nod, by Julie Steinberg, Bloomberg Law

A $95 million class settlement resolving allegations that Apple Inc. provided consumers with subpar warranty-replacement iPhones and iPads got the final nod from a federal court in California.

Bottom of the Page

I'm not entirely convinced there is anything Apple can reasonably do now to avoid being scrutinized by regulators. I wish Apple doesn't lose its focus in making iPhone a great internet device, just like how Microsoft lost its focus in making Internet Explorer crush web applications.


Thanks for reading.