Apple warns Coronavirus app devs to ‘use credible data’
Apple has clarified that it wants to make sure that any coronavirus-related apps it distributes through the App Store deliver credible information, rather than fake news.
With this in mind it has published the following statement to its developers.
“We’re evaluating apps critically to ensure data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognized entities.”
Use verified data
In brief, the statement confirms:
- The need to ensure apps and the information they contain is credible and useful.
- That data is reliable and comes from “recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions”.
- That a time-sensitive channel for app review exists.
- That non-profits hoping to distribute apps for free can have their developer fee waived.
The statement follows:
Ensuring the Credibility of Health & Safety Information
March 14, 2020
The App Store should always be a safe and trusted place for users to download apps. Now more than ever that commitment takes on special significance as the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities around the world are depending on apps to be credible news sources — helping users understand the latest health innovations, find out where they can get help if needed or provide assistance to their neighbors.
To help fulfill these expectations, we’re evaluating apps critically to ensure data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions. Only developers from one of these recognized entities should submit an app related to COVID-19. Entertainment or game apps with COVID-19 as their theme will not be allowed.
We understand the need to get these apps into the hands of customers as soon as possible. We encourage developers that meet this criteria to select “Time-Sensitive Event” on the expedite request form to ensure prioritized review since App Store review may take longer.
If you are developing an app on behalf of a client, please advise your client to add you to the development team of their Apple Developer account. If your client does not yet have an Apple Developer account, they can enroll in the Apple Developer Program. Nonprofit organizations, accredited educational institutions, and government entities that plan to distribute only free apps on the App Store can request to have their annual membership fee waived, if based in an eligible country.
Moral of the tale? We have enough going down right now without tolerating lies. Look after yourselves, those close to you, and your communities.