Apple rejects Pennsylvania app to verify votes, days ahead of the election

apple rejets voting app rect

Apple has rejected an app that was aimed to allow voters in Pennsylvania to verify that their ballot for the 2020 US Presidential election was counted. As The Information reports:

Efforts to reject some ballots in battleground states like Pennsylvania could determine the outcome of next week’s election. But a mobile app designed to help ensure that Pennsylvania ballots are getting counted has already been rejected—by Apple.

After almost two weeks of holding up the release of the app, called Drive Turnout, Apple on Thursday told the developer behind it, Ari Steinberg, that the app violates the company’s privacy rules and that Apple won’t release it. It was a curious decision. Steinberg’s app relies on information that is publicly available on a Pennsylvania state website, which allows anyone with a voter’s name, date of birth and county of residence to verify that that voter’s ballot has been counted.

As the report states, the app uses information that is available online, so any claimed violation of the app breaking Apple’s privacy policy makes little very sense given the data is already public. Despite that, Apple is citing a specific clause within its App Store policy that prohibits the use, or collection of user data that isn’t from the user directly, or without the user’s explicit consent.

Interestingly, the app is available on the Google Play Store, and the app’s description for Android is as followed:

The Drive Turnout app helps you manage all this. We can help you keep track of which of your contacts are in PA, which ones have already voted successfully vs which ones you need to check up on, etc. You’re in full control of any communication you want to do with those people

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Sami
Sami started falling in love with Apple in 2010 with the iPhone 4S. As a registered developer, he deeply admires the world of Apple. Sami is an aspiring journalist, writer, and actor. He also has devoted his life to sharing his passion and knowledge with others around the world.