Clueful, from antivirus experts Bitdefender, is a great little app for iOS that tells you which of your apps are accessing your personal data, and exactly what data they may be interested in. We wrote about it back in May when it first hit the App Store, and I liked it so much that I included it in one of my must-have apps roundups.
But it seems Apple wasn’t so keen, because it has now yanked Clueful from the App Store, and no one knows why.
Clueful came at just the right time. Following concerns over privacy on iOS, and how some apps are guilty of accessing and recording our data, everyone wants a better understanding of which apps are accessing their information. Clueful helped us do that.
Its App Store description read:
You’d be surprised how many things an app can learn about you and what you do. Without you ever knowing it. Clueful is the only way to really understand iOS apps, how they use your private data and treat your privacy. This one-of-a-kind product identifies intrusive applications and shows you what they do behind your back.
But it seems Clueful was also breaking Apple’s rules, because it’s no longer available to download from the App Store. No one really knows why, other than Apple and Clueful, of course, who aren’t willing to disclose this information.
Apple simply said in its statement:
Apple informed Bitdefender’s product development team of the removal — for reasons the company is studying — after initial approval and sale in the App Store.
Some believe that the app’s removal may have something to do with Apple’s new privacy features in iOS 6, which ask for your permission every time a new app attempts to access your contacts, your location, or your camera roll.
The Cupertino company will want users to feel safe with this new feature, like we can trust iOS 6 to protect our data. But an app that highlights all the information other apps are accessing isn’t going to help with that.
Nevertheless, Bitdefender is determined to bring Clueful back. The company told SecurityWeek:
While Clueful remains off the App Store, we are working toward building data privacy awareness and will continue to develop products that help consumers remain secure regardless of platform.