Apple has removed an app called “Like Patrol” that stalked users on Instagram and allowed those who downloaded it to scrape information from the Facebook-owned platform about the activity of other users.
“Like Patrol” was removed from the Apple App Store, following Instagram’s delivery of a cease-and-desist letter to the app’s developers for violating its policies against data collection, CNET reported on Monday.
“Scraping violates our policies, and we take action against companies who we find to be engaging in it. Like Patrol was scraping people’s data, so we are taking appropriate enforcement action against them,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying. Apple said the app violated its guidelines.
Sergio Luis Quintero, founder of “Like Patrol”, was quoted as saying that they will fight to get back on the App Store. “We strongly believe that our app does not violate Apple policies, we plan to appeal this decision in the coming days,” he said. The app is not available in the Google Play Store for Android.
In October, Instagram killed its own ‘Following’ tab that allowed people to see what posts and accounts their friends were interacting with. Instagram has also rolled out a new mode called “Restrict” globally that will let users stop people who bully them via offensive posts or abusive comments. A user can restrict someone by swiping left on a comment, through the Privacy tab in Settings, or directly on the profile of the account you intend to restrict.
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