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Apple toughens stand on vaccine apps to safeguard users

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San Francisco, Feb 17 (IANS) With an aim to keep its App Store a safe and trusted platform for users to download apps, Apple said that apps generating health passes based on Covid-19 vaccine records must be submitted by developers working with companies and entities recognised by public health authorities.

According to a statement shared with developers on Tuesday, Apple said it is seeing an increase in the number of apps that generate health passes with proof of vaccination, which can be required to enter buildings.

“With the recent release of Covid-19 vaccines, we’ve seen an increase in apps that generate health passes used to enter buildings and access in-person services based on testing and vaccination records,” the company said.

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“To ensure these apps responsibly handle sensitive data and provide reliable functionality, they must be submitted by developers working with entities recognized by public health authorities, such as test kit manufacturers, laboratories, or healthcare providers,” it added.

The tech giant said that it also welcomes submissions directly from the government, as well as from medical and other credentialed institutions.

Last year, in March, the company said that they are evaluating apps critically to ensure that data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognized entities — such as government organisations, health-focused NGOs, medical or educational institutions.

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“Only developers from one of these recognised entities should submit an app related to Covid-19. Entertainment or game apps with Covid-19 as their theme will not be allowed,” the tech giant noted.

–IANS

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