Apple’s App Store is now coming under the spotlight for how it handles fake crypto apps that scam investors who think they’re investing in real, legitimate cryptocurrencies.
In a letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the chairman of the U.S. Senate on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Sherrod Brown, inquires about the steps Apple takes in vetting, reviewing, and removing crypto apps before and after they become available for download on the App Store.
Apple already employs a strict set of rules for apps on the App Store, but Brown wants to know the exact steps Apple takes to prevent fake crypto apps from making their way onto the platform.
While firms that offer crypto investment and other related services should take the necessary steps to prevent fraudulent activity, including warning investors about the uptick in scams, it is likewise imperative that app stores have the proper safeguards in place to prevent against fraudulent mobile application activity.
In its App Store guidelines, Apple does lay out several policies for crypto apps on the App Store. Those policies state that crypto apps can not mine for cryptocurrencies using on-device processing, apps must not require users to complete tasks such as posting to social media in order to obtain currency and more.
Brown’s letter, however, asks Apple to share details it takes specifically regarding how it responds to fake crypto apps. Apple is requested in the letter to describe the review process for crypto apps, the steps Apple takes to remove crypto apps that circumvent App Store policies, how often it reviews existing crypto apps against fraudulent activity, the steps users can take to report fraudulent crypto apps, and whether or not Apple has been part of any coordinated effort to remove fraudulent crypto apps from the App Store since January 2020.
Apple has until August 10 to provide all of this information to the committee. The same letter was also sent to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
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