Watchdog FAS said it was investigating why a new version of Kaspersky Lab’s Safe Kids application had not been updated on the Apple operating system, resulting in a significant loss in functionality for the app.
It said Apple had released an updated version of its own app, Screen Time, which had similar functions to the Kaspersky programme. Parental control apps allow parents to control their children’s phone and tablet usage.
Asked about the Russian investigation, Apple referred Reuters to an April 28 statement in which it said it had recently removed several parental control apps from its App Store because they “put users’ privacy and security at risk.”
It said several of these apps were using a “highly invasive” technology called Mobile Device Management (MDM) and that its use in a consumer-focused app was a violation of App Store policies.
Kaspersky said Apple’s App Store guidelines allowed for a limited use of MDM, but that it was not clear how to obtain Apple’s permission to do so. It also said the requirements reduced the competitiveness of third party developers.