Reports: Apple to tighten app privacy rules

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Apple will require application developers to obtain explicit permission from iPhone and iPad users before they can store the users' contact lists, according to several media reports.

The tech giant's decision was reportedly a response to a letter drafted last week by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) — both of whom serve on the House's Energy and Commerce Committee — and sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook, asking for clarification regarding Apple's developer guidelines and asking whether privacy guidelines were being followed, MacNewsWorld reported. Although those guidelines are supposed to restrict the collection of user data, Apple reportedly said it will be more specific in explaining that contact lists cannot be accessed and stored without user consent.

The letter was reportedly spurred by the discovery of the loophole in the social networking app Path by iOS developer Arun Thampi, who then blogged about it, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Twitter, Foursquare, Path and Yelp have all recently been mired in similar privacy issues regarding their apps collection and storage of users' contacts, according to reports.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment. 

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