While Apple Inc. maintains a stringent approval process for apps on its App Store there are still some apps that manage to slip through the cracks. There are over 500,000 apps in the App Store and on occasion some apps create too much controversy that Apple has to step in pull it from the App Store. Here are some of the more controversial apps that sneaked their way to the App Store and had to be yanked out by Apple.
Jew or no Jew
Created by developer J Soft, the app asks users to guess and discover which actors are Jewish or not from a database. The app was banned from Apple's online store in France after French anti-racism group, SOS Racisme threatened to sue the company in September. The app was later pulled from worldwide circulation after the app's developer Johann Levy decided to remove it. Levy said that he had developed the app to be a recreational app and that being a Jew himself he often asked whether a celebrity is Jewish or not.
Released in mid-February by the Orlando based Christian group Exodus International the free app provided content that helps gay people on their journey out of homosexuality. The app, it says, will help "cure" gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people from their homosexuality. Apple pulled the app from the App Store in March after nearly 150,000 people signed an online petition requesting its removal. An Apple spokesman said that the app was removed because it violated Apple's developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.
The mobile game Phone Story was banned just hours after its release on September 14. The game described by Italian developer Molleindustria, as a game that "attempts to provoke a critical reflection on its own technological platform." The app has four mini games about the real-world scenarios in manufacturing smartphones. The player follows a smartphone development from mines in the Congo through the Foxconn factories and to the consumer market in the West. In one mini-game, players have to catch workers as they throw themselves of the roof of Foxconn factories. The game is still available for $1 in the Android Market.
Apple pulled the two-year-old app called Driver's License after the Coalition for a Secure Driver's License petitioned Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey to send a letter to Apple asking for the app's removal from the App Store. The app allows users to make fake driver's licenses using real license templates in different states in the U.S. The app even allows users to email the images making it easier to print and laminate the fake licenses.
Big Brother Camera Security
The app, Big Brother Camera Security lets users remotely photograph people who are trying to access missing iPhones. The app was removed after Apple took note of developer Daniel Amitay posting a study on his blog that revealed the most common iPhone passwords. Apple initially approved the app but Amitay wrote new code that allowed the app to record keystrokes corresponding to numeric passcodes. Apple pulled the app after an Apple representative told Amitay that the company believed he was "surreptitiously harvesting user passwords."
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