Apple Removes HKMapLive (Again)

After initially backtracking and permitting the HKMapLive app, Apple has bowed to Chinese pressure and removed it from the store once more. This is an utterly disgraceful move by Apple.

Apple justifies the move by saying,

We created the App Store to be a safe and trusted place to discover apps. We have learned that an app, HKmap.live, has been used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong. Many concerned customers in Hong Kong have contacted us about this app and we immediately began investigating it. The app displays police locations and we have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement. This app violates our guidelines and local laws, and we have removed it from the App Store.

This is a piss-poor justification. Almost any could be used for nefarious purposes. iMessage, Waze, Whatsapp - all could be used for criminal purposes. That’s not really a reason to remove it.

HN Discussion

Written on October 10, 2019