An iPhone app called Big Brother Camera Security has been removed from the App Store because it was collecting passcodes. Big Brother Security is an application that “takes photos of anyone using your iPhone 4/ iPod Touch 4 without your permission. It also sounds an alarm upon application quit.”
Before you go asking for the app’s creator, Daniel Amitay’s head a silver platter, hear out his argument first. In the latest update to Big Brother Security, Amitay implemented a code to record the passcodes that users created within the application. Amitay’s theory was that since his passcode setup screen looks just like the traditional iPhone passcode lock screen, users would use the same passcode for both.
Amitay then published his findings in a report named “Most Common iPhone Passcodes.” Of the 204,508 passcodes he collected, Amitay discovered “1234” was the most common passcode.
Apple didn’t take too kindly to Amitay’s methods of data collection, so it pulled his app.
On his website, Amitay asserts that he never identified which passcodes were associated with any given user. He also pointed to Apple’s iTunes EULA which says,”Consent to Use of Data: You agree that Application Provider may collect and use technical data and related information, including but not limited to technical information about Your device, system and application software, and peripherals, that is gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, product support and other services to You (if any) related to the Licensed Application. Application Provider may use this information, as long as it is in a form that does not personally identify You, to improve its products or to provide services or technologies to You.”
Amitay has submitted an update to his app that doesn’t collect passcodes.