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Bitdefender's iOS privacy app removed from Apple's App Store

Two months after receiving approval from Apple, Bitdefender's Clueful app has been pulled from the App Store.

Bitdefender has not elaborated on why its app was removed from the store.

Clueful was created to address the lack of insight into iOS app privacy, Bitdefender said. It scans the apps installed on a user's device for required permissions to keep users apprised of how their data is being used.

"iPhone owners need to know which apps they have installed may be using their personal data in ways that are not expected," Bitdefender said today.

In March, before Clueful hit Apple's electronic shelves, the computer manufacturer began cracking down on apps that use a 40-character-long unique ID number – the UDID – by rejecting submitted apps that access a device's UDID in any capacity. Last month, there were reports that Apple was working on a new app-tracking tool.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the time that Clueful was available on iOS, Bitdefender said an analysis of more than 65,000 popular iOS apps found that 42.5 per cent do not encrypt users' personal data, even while using public Wi-Fi, while 41.4 per cent were shown to actually track a users' location without their knowledge.

Almost one in five apps that Clueful analysed can access an iPhone owners' entire address book, with the ability to send information to the cloud without notification, Bitdefender said.

Despite the App Store dismissal, Bitdefender said it "is committed to raising awareness about app privacy on the iOS platform," and will resubmit the app after more development.

Bitdefender also manufactures antivirus and security software for Mac and PC.