Apple’s new Face ID and augmented reality, ARKit, have unlocked possibilities for both the good guys and the bad guys. The tech giant has now modified its App Review Guidelines accordingly. Hacking with Swift outlined the major changes.
Apps that use Face ID for authentication are now required to use LocalAuthentication and not ARKit or other facial recognition technology. Users under 13 years of age must be able to authenticate by a different method – in the absence of a Touch ID button, that would be either a passcode or passphrase.
ARKit apps must provide a true, rich augmented reality experience in order to meet Apple’s new standards. This is not just about applying Snapchat-style filters to reality – it’s about trying out IKEA furniture before you buy, hatching Eric Carle’s hungry caterpillar for your child or fighting zombies with your favorite Walking Dead characters.
Apple has made it clear in the new rules that developers may not use ARKit’s facial mapping tools to try to identify other people or guess their user profiles; data mining is banned.
Apps that are discriminatory based on national or ethnic origin have been added to the “objectionable content” list, which also includes porn, malware, politically problematic content and, vaguely, “mean-spirited” content. At launch, the App Store would not allow fart apps, and last spring it banned anything featuring the alt-right meme mascot Pepe the Frog – both due to infractions of this rule.
Apple is also cracking down on false advertising and spam apps, prohibiting developers from marketing their apps as providing content or services that they do not, in fact, offer.
Other new rules address money gifting apps and institute a formal ban on scam malware scanners that could never actually do as they promise, as third-party applications cannot directly interact with one another or with the core of iOS. There’s also a very serious clause stating that any app found to be facilitating human trafficking or the exploitation of children will be reported to authorities.