After Removal By Apple, Privacy App Clueful Returns Via The Web

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Back in May, security company Bitdefender launched Clueful, an iPhone app that looked at the other apps on your phone and identified what they were doing with your data. However, according to Bitdefender, Apple removed the app from the App Store in late June without an explanation.

Today, Clueful has relaunched … but not on iOS. Instead, it’s now a website where users can search for different apps and get basic facts like which ones are accessing your location, tracking your in-app usage, and reading your address book. For example, one of the apps that I use the most on my iPhone is Routesy, so I can look it up on the Clueful sit and see that it can display ads and track my location, while also encrypting my data. (Basically, nothing to worry about — which is good to know.)

Bitdefender’s Head of Online Threat Labs Catalin Cosoi acknowledges that iOS 6 will come with additional privacy controls, but he says Clueful still goes further. For example: “iOS 6’s privacy controls tell you that a certain app wants to read your address book. Clueful tells you whether the app uploads your contacts to its cloud.”

Cosoi also that Clueful wasn’t directly scanning the app activity on your device, so the app analysis and information is “not dependent on being an iOS app.” Much of this data is gathered from testing the apps in the Bitdefender lab, he says, and Clueful now offers profiles of more than 100,000 apps.

That said, Clueful still sounds most convenient as an app on your phone — the website is a clever workaround, but it’s still a workaround. Cosoi says Bitdefender wants to bring Clueful back to the App Store, but can’t offer a timeline on when that might happen.

“We are confident that we will, but in the meantime we’re addressing the issues around iOS app privacy and security with the Clueful web app,” he says.