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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