Apple Bans Passcode-Stealing iPhone App

An iPhone application that took a photo of anyone entering a passcode and sending it along with geolocation information to the handheld's owner has now been banned by Apple.

It turns out that the app, Big Brother Camera Security by Daniel Amitay, has also been used to stockpile passcodes so Amitay could create security reports on common passcodes. One could argue that what Amitay did was a service rather than for his own benefit, but nonetheless, capturing all this iPhone data wasn't cool with Apple, so it banned his app.

Amitay had a lot to say about this on his blog, but here's the gist:

Namely, that I’d be able to collect this data so long as it was “not personally [identifiable to] You.” Perhaps this was a misunderstanding on Apple’s part, or perhaps I missed a developer agreement where I’m not able to publish certain statistics (?), but I’m hoping to get this worked out and have Big Brother back on the App Store.

It's obvious why his app was pulled, despite all of Amitay's good intentions. Not every developer has good intentions, so companies must patrol their apps and developers for any potential wrongdoing. Having access to user passcodes will be a hard sell for Amitay, but perhaps he can convince Apple his app is worth it.

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