Home Apple Approves Smutty iPhone App By Mistake

Apple Approves Smutty iPhone App By Mistake

Over the weekend, an interesting app made its way into the iPhone app store: Wallpaper Universe, a naughty little number that let you decorate your homescreen with pictures of women in various states of undress. On Friday, we saw FunMobility’s appear in the app store but by Saturday, the app had been removed. This begs the question: what exactly is going on with Apple’s app approval process?

Let’s be honest here. Even if you only took one quick glance at the screenshot provided by the application’s maker, it would be obvious what this app was all about: Porn…and Apple doesn’t do porn. Even though approving adult applications would turn the app store into a veritable goldmine for both the company and app developers, Apple has no intention of ever letting those sorts of applications into their store

So what happened? How could an Apple employee see this and yet hit the “approve” button? Apple won’t reveal what goes on behind the scenes with their approval process, a process that often takes weeks or months, but this incident almost makes you wonder if there is one blurry-eyed guy sitting a keyboard clicking “approve,” “approve,” “reject” all day long as hundreds of applications arrive for approval. Or could it be that some approvals are now just being automated with their final review done only after they are live in the store? That also would explain how an app like this could appear.

Mistakes Like This Raise Questions

What’s more important than the approval then subsequent removal of this silly little app is the giant gaping hole that this incident points to in Apple’s review process. Along with porn, Apple also intends to keep us safe from illegal and malicious applications, those that are bandwidth hogs, and those that raise privacy concerns. But if they thought that Wallpaper Universe was acceptable only to realize later, that…oops…it was porn, how can we trust them to keep us safe from the other application no-no’s that are far more dangerous?

Can we (and should we) expect all the apps Apple approves to be safe and secure? If Apple screws up, who is negligent for the damage caused? This time, Apple’s mistake may have only involved naughty wallpaper, but next time, it could be something worse.

Image credit: VentureBeat

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