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Apple is reportedly restricting VoIP API access for apps using VoIP API in iOS 13.
The feature is said to affect the functionality of apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
The apps reportedly use the VoIP API for more than just placing VoIP calls.
After Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal and numerous other data leaks, both users and companies are now more wary of how their data is being handled and utilised. Apple also touts to be all in for privacy and as per a report by The Register, via 9to5Mac, the company is planning to place a restriction on the PushKit VoIP API used by third-party apps to place internet voice calls. The API is apparently used by apps to not only place VoIP calls but also to run other unrelated tasks in the background. By restricting this behaviour in iOS 13, apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and others that make use of the VoIP API might need to change their functionality.
As per the report, apps use the API in question to enable faster connectivity. However, it is said to be used for other purposes as well. WhatsApp is said to have been using the PushKit VoIP API to enable end-to-end encryption. “Other messaging app developers, who have long relied on the internet calling feature to keep their apps running in the background on Apple mobile devices, will also have to rebuild their apps,” the report states quoting people familiar with the issue.
Commenting on the new restrictions being imposed in third-party apps on iOS, a Facebook spokesperson told The Information, “The changes to the upcoming iOS releases are not insignificant, but we are in conversations with Apple on how best to address. To be clear—we are using the PushKit VoIP API to deliver a world-class, private messaging experience, not for the purpose of collecting data.”
If Apple does go ahead and actually implements the reported new changes, app makers will probably have to rework their apps to adhere to the new guidelines. This is also not the first time Apple has made privacy-centric changes to its ecosystem. It previously revoked enterprise certificate access to a Facebook app that was reportedly rewarding users in exchange for their data.
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