Apple removed the ‘Fakespot’ app from the iOS App Store following Amazon’s request

Apple on Friday released the Fakespot app from the iOS App Store. Fakespot, which is a service for filtering and hiding fake product reviews on Amazon, launched its iOS app last month, but now, the app has been removed following a request from Amazon itself.

Fakespot founder Saoud Khalifah told The Verge that Apple dumped its app without explaining the reason. However, the developers confirmed that Amazon sent them a removal notice in June, which is why the iOS app is no longer available for iPhone and iPad users.

The app, much like its web browser extension, integrates with Amazon’s website using unofficial methods to identify fake reviews in product pages. Amazon, on the other hand, claims that the app injects code that can compromise user data, as well as give users “misleading information” about the seller.

Amazon also told us that Fakespot injects code into its website, opens attack vectors and puts customer data (including email, address, credit card information, and your browser history) at risk, though it says it doesn’t really know what Fakespot is use this information.

But while Fakespot acknowledges the app injects code to display its own scores, he emphatically denies there are vulnerabilities, and points out that apps that include web browser displays are common – including coupon apps that look like Amazon “has no problem wrapping web display browsers. “

Amazon confirmed that it has asked Apple to remove apps under guideline 5.2.2, which prohibits developers from using third -party content in apps without permission. 9to5Mac reported in August 2020 that Apple had used similar guidelines to ban third -party apps from integrating with Tesla vehicles.

5.2.2 Third Party Sites / Services: If your application uses, accesses, monetizes access to, or displays content from third -party services, make sure that you are specifically permitted to do so under the terms of use of the service. Permission must be granted upon request.

The developer of Fakespot points out that Amazon buys search results for the keyword “Fakespot” in the App Store to prevent users from finding the app. A search for “Fakespot” in the App Store now shows the first official Amazon app in the list with an “Ads” badge. The app registered 150,000 installs on iOS devices over the period it was available on the App Store.

“Amazon is willing to bully small companies like ours that show cracks in their companies,” Khalifah said, pointing out that Amazon is certainly aware people choose their apps over Amazon’s apps. He says Fakespot obtained 150,000 installs from the iOS App Store, without spending money on marketing.

According to Amazon, the company already has the tools needed to identify and stop fake reviews, suggesting that third -party services that claim to do this are “mostly wrong.” Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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