Apple seems to be getting serious about apps sending location data without user consent. Over the course of the past few weeks, Apple has sent developers emails if their apps are in violation of two key parts of the legal section of the App Store Review Guidelines. Those have to do with the sending of location data to third parties without the users explicit consent to do so.
The sections in question are 5.1.1 and 5.1.2, both in the legal part of the guidelines. Those sections of the guide call out data collection and transmission guidelines which is what Apple is cracking down on with these apps.
Apple has continually made personal data security a key tenant of the App Store and the whole Apple experience in general. The company doesn’t have an issue with apps sending data to 3rd parties so long as the users of the app are clearly told that the data or location information will be shared. If that is clear and users agree, there is no issue for the Cupertino company. It is when it is not clearly indicated by apps or, worse, it happens without any knowledge that gets them fired up.
If developers are found to have an app in volition of the guidelines, the company is pulling the app from the App Store with immediate effect. Developers can then clean up their code or add the required notifications for users and resubmit the app to be added back to the store.