Apple Says It Removed 1 Million Suspicious Apps Last Year

Preventing fraud on the App Store

Apple claims that it stopped more than $1.5 billion of potentially fraudulent transactions in its App Store and rejected a total of 1 million apps last year. 

The tech giant said it turned away 215,000 of the apps for privacy violations, prevented more than 3 million stolen cards from making purchases, and deactivated 244 million customer accounts, among other actions.

woman using smartphone

Marko Geber

“It takes significant resources behind the scenes to ensure these bad actors can’t exploit users’ most sensitive information, from location to payment details,” Apple wrote in its announcement. “While it’s impossible to catch every act of fraud or ill intent before it happens, thanks to Apple’s industry-leading anti-fraud efforts, security experts agree the App Store is the safest place to find and download apps.” 

Apple said fraud in the App Store includes fake ratings and reviews, account fraud, and payment and credit card fraud. The company said it rejects or removes apps when it spots these actions taking place. 

According to Apple, 48,000 apps were removed for “hidden or undocumented features,” 150,000 were removed because they copied another app, 215,000 were taken down over collecting user data, and 95,000 were removed for fraud. 

Security experts agree the App Store is the safest place to find and download apps.

Most notably, Apple removed Epic Games’ Fortnite app last August after Epic refused to pay Apple’s 30% fee on digital purchases. Epic bypassed what’s been called the “Apple tax” by letting players buy Fortnite’s in-game currency, V-Bucks, which Apple said violated its App Store guidelines. 

Last July, Apple released a study (commissioned by Apple) defending its
App Store fees, saying that its 30% commission rate for paid apps and in-app purchases is the same or similar to 38 digital marketplaces. 

However, investigations from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal in 2019 found that Apple favors its own apps in the App Store over those made by third parties.

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