Following a recent ruling that Apple would have ten days to remove the anonymous social app Secret from its Brazilian App Store, Apple has complied with the order. The justification for the removal, according to a source close to the situation, can be found in section 22.1 of the App Store Guidelines:

Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users. It is the developer’s obligation to understand and conform to all local laws

As noted by the judge, the Brazilian constitution prohibits anonymous freedom of expression, which essentially makes Secret and other apps like it illegal with that country.

Per Article 5, Section IV of the Constitution of Brazil:

IV. the expression of thought is free, and anonymity is forbidden;

There have not yet been any reports of the app being remotely disabled from users’ phones—a capability Apple has never exercised before—though doing so was part of the judge’s order. Whether Apple will comply with that half of the injunction is yet to be seen.

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15 Responses to “Apple removes Secret app from Brazilian App Store for not conforming with local laws”

  1. The app store remote killswitch list is at and is still empty (it has never been used as far as I know). Not sure they could target a specific country with it anyway.


  2. Zac Hall says:

    Wow, I read that this was going to happen a week ago on Secret. Secret strikes again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Idiotic that “anonymous freedom of expression” is illegal in Brazil.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m genuinely shocked they actually went through with this.


  5. Marcelo Henrique Almeida says:

    I’m a lawyer from Brazil and actually anonymous freedom of speech in Brazil is not ilegal. What happened was a court order to ban the app temporaly because people were using to “share secrets” of other people and creating facts things about them. So the court ordered a temporary ban.
    The app didn’t break any of our laws. People did, so to avoid more demage the court decided for this solution.


  6. I suppose if the app is being use to abuse, harass, or defame a person the Brazilian law is appropriate.


  7. Shame on you Apple for not standing up to the bullies ! This is just plain and simple censorship.


  8. The main problem is, although the app allows users to complain and report posts as inappropriate, the complaint must be in english and it takes quite some time to posts to disappear. The majority of Brazilians can’t even say Hello.
    It is not the app itself, but the lack of support for this kind of thing.
    I do not agree with the ban (I don’t even use the app), but this is the only temporary solution to a bigger problem.


  9. “As noted by the judge, the Brazilian constitution prohibits anonymous freedom of expression, which essentially makes Secret and other apps like it illegal with that country.” Noooo, that’s not right! I’m Brazilian and i live in the state were the judge ordered this. The point was that the way of many people here were using Secret was offensive. A kind of cyberbullying, in my opinion. So that was “””necessary”””. Basically a way of educate the population. But i repeat: the Brazilian constitution DO NOT prohibits anonymous freedom of expression


  10. I’m from brazil and the secret app wasn’t banned because it was breaking a local law. It was banned because people were using the app to bully other people by posting other’s secrets instead of their own.