SALT LAKE CITY — Apple quietly removed parental control apps from its App Store and you might have missed it.

Apple said in a statement over the weekend that it quietly removed several parental control apps from the App Store because they pose a risk to people’s safety.

Apple said it discovered that several apps used something called mobile device management software, which “gives a third party control and access over a device and its most sensitive information including user location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions and browsing history.”

Businesses will often use MDM software to manage and control devices, according to CNET.

Apple said using MDM software goes against Apple’s app store policies.

  • “It is incredibly risky — and a clear violation of App Store policies — for a private, consumer-focused app business to install MDM control over a customer’s device,” Apple said. “Beyond the control that the app itself can exert over the user’s device, research has shown that MDM profiles could be used by hackers to gain access for malicious purposes.”

Apple said it gave developers 30 days to fix the guideline violations. Those that failed to do so were eliminated from the App Store.

Flashback: The New York Times reported over the weekend that Apple has put a new hold on the App Store and several third-party apps. The report said Apple targeted 11 of the 17 most popular apps that help users limit their screen time. Apple likely removed the apps or restricted access, according to The New York Times.

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Apple fired back at The New York Times, saying that it wasn’t for competition sake, but for security reasons.

  • “Apple has always supported third-party apps on the App Store that help parents manage their kids’ devices,” the company said. “Contrary to what The New York Times reported over the weekend, this isn’t a matter of competition. It’s a matter of security.”

Earlier this week, developers for Kidslox and Qustodio, two apps designed to help with parental control, filed antitrust complaints against Apple in the European Union, according to The Verge.

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