Apple Takes Down iOS App That Monitors US Drone Strike Victims

Apple Takes Down iOS App That Monitors US Drone Strike Victims

Apple has removed an iOS app called Metadata+ from its App Store as the company believed it had objectionable content. The app monitors U.S. drone strike victims in various parts of the world.
(Photo : Dronestream | Twitter)

Apple has taken down apps from its App Store which monitor U.S. drone strike victims.

Josh Begley, a data artist and research editor for The Intercept, developed an app called Metadata+, which sends alerts to users every time a person is killed in a U.S. drone attack anywhere in the world.

Begley explained that the Metadata+ app collects data regarding the drone victims from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in the UK. Metadata+ identifies specific location of drone attacks on maps and sends out a text alert to users notifying the fatalities.

Begley also revealed that before Metadata+ was accepted by the App Store in 2014, its previous versions going by various names including Drone+, Drones+ and Dronestream were rejected five times by Apple.

However, after about one and a half year in use, Apple has taken down Metadata+ from the App Store.

"Apple has removed Metadata+ from the App Store due to 'excessive crude or objectionable content.' Thank you," per a push notification that Apple sent to Metadata+ users.

Gawker has published a screenshot of Begley's iTunes Connect account, which suggests that Apple's clause that says "Your app contains content that many users would find objectionable," is responsible for the removal of Metadata+ from the App Store.

Metadata+ is not the only app that Apple has removed. Another drone strike app going by the name Ephemeral+ has also been removed from the App Store.

Metadata+ alerts do not comment on the innocence or guilt of a victim. However, app may be critical to U.S. military policy, which has prompted its removal.

People who have the app installed on their devices can still get alerts but new customers cannot install the app anymore. However, Begley says that he will continue to update information of U.S. drone strike victims via @Dronestream on Twitter.Â