iOS apps auto-posts piracy self-confessions on user's Twitter feeds, but is doing it for paying users too
An iOS app developer has come up with a new way fight piracy - by auto posting a confession to the user's Twitter account. The only problem? It's doing it for paid users too.
Thousands of auto-tweeted posts started appearing in people's Twitter feeds, all with the same "self-confession" message. "How about we all stop using pirated iOS apps? I promise to stop. I really will. #softwarepirateconfession."
While this embarrassment inducing tweet may be an effective, although intrusive, way to prevent piracy, what Japanese app developer Enfour didn't count on was that their anti-piracy feature would start posting the same confession even for users that have paid for the app.
Enfour has since posted an apology, blaming the problem on a "bug" in their range of dictionary apps. An update is now available for Enfour's apps that either eliminates the auto-tweeting feature, or now only does it for those that were using a pirated version for real.
Enfour VP of Communications Tracey Northcott tried to justify the company's initial decision to add this "feature" to their apps on, ironically, Twitter. "Only 25% of our apps in use are legitimate copies. Piracy is threatening the survival of all independent devs," tweeted Northcott.
This latest gaffe also raises further questions regarding privacy and personal data for iOS apps. Allowing apps to hijack a user's Twitter account may just be a bigger problem than a false shaming from a misbehaving app.