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Apple, Google to Stop X-Mode From Collecting Location Data From Users' Phones


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A review by Apple found 100 apps made by 30 developers contained X-Modes software.

Apple Inc. and Google will ban the data broker X-Mode Social Inc. from collecting any location information drawn from mobile devices running their operating systems, in the wake of revelations about the companys national security work.

Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News

Apple and Google said they will bar data broker X-Mode Social from culling location information from mobile devices running their operating systems, following revelations about the firm's national security work.

The companies instructed developers to strip X-Mode's tracking software from any application in their app stores, or have access to phones with Apple's or Google's mobile operating systems revoked.

X-Mode's privacy policy and public-spending records indicated the broker has supplied data to several U.S. government contractors for national security, counterterrorism, and pandemic response.

Consumers technically opt in to location tracking by giving apps consent to record their devices' location and accepting the terms of service; X-Mode collects this data with a software development kit it pays to embed into other developers' apps.

The Wall Street Journal in November reported that X-Mode was collecting data from phones running its software about nearby Internet of Things devices.

From The Wall Street Journal
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