Fakespot, an app that analyzes Amazon posts to determine which ones are fake, is no longer available for iOS.
Amazon convinced Apple to remove it from the App Store after the company raised concerns that the app provides misleading information and creates potential security vulnerabilities. The e-commerce giant has confirmed to Engadget that it has denounced Fakespot for investigation. One of its biggest concerns, Amazon said, is that the redesigned Fakespot app, released in June, “wraps” and injects code into its website.
“Wrapping” would, in theory, make it possible for the app to collect data and put at risk customers’ sensitive information, including credit card numbers. As the e-commerce titan, he contacted Fakespot directly to address his security issues and the app developer did not act.
Amazon said in a statement:
“Amazon works hard to build a shopping experience that delights customers and a sales experience that empowers brands and sellers to build and grow their businesses. The app in question provides customers with misleading information about our vendors and their products, harming our vendors’ businesses and potentially creating security risks. We appreciate Apple’s review of this app against Appstore guidelines. “
Fakespot founder and CEO, Saoud Khalifah, admitted to CNBC that his company collects some user data, but defended that it does not sell information to third parties. Furthermore, he denies Amazon’s claim that the app poses security risks. “We don’t steal user information, we’ve never done that. They didn’t show any proof and Apple acted on the basis of zero proof,” he said. Apparently, Apple hasn’t given their company adequate notice before the app is removed, and hasn’t even given a chance to rectify any issues the tech giant may have.
While Apple has yet to release a statement clarifying why exactly Fakespot was moved, Amazon pointed Engadget to two App Store guidelines in particular. One of these guidelines states that an application that displays content from a third-party service must guarantee permission from that service. The other prohibits applications from displaying false information.
In early 2020, Amazon went after another add-on used to track prices and discounts: Honey, a PayPal acquisition. People using Honey saw a notice on the Amazon website that says the extension “tracks [seu] private shopping behavior, collects data such as [seu] order history and saved items, and can read or change any of [seus] data on any site [eles ] Visit.”
An Apple spokesman said he contacted Fakespot weeks before removing it from the App Store, contradicting Khalifah’s assertion that his company did not receive adequate notice.
Apple spokesman said:
“This was an intellectual property rights dispute that Amazon started on June 8, and within hours we ensured that both parties were in contact with each other, explaining the issue and the steps the developer would take to maintain their app in the store and giving them plenty of time to resolve the issue. On June 29, we contacted Fakespot again weeks before removing their app from the App Store. “