The user interface of HKMap.live, an app deemed to help protesters in Hong Kong in a bad way. (Image via AsiaOne)
Apple abolishes a police-tracking app in Hong KongOn Wednesday, an American tech giant, Apple Inc., released an official statement that it had pulled an app that deemed helpful for the protesters amid the Hong Kong protest.
A crowdfunding app, HKMap.live, a once rejected app then got away with it, was used by Hong Kong protesters to monitor the police’s movement and then ambush them. Apple considered it as misconduct, misusing the app to pinpoint the police’s location.
Apple reportedly had inquired Hong Kong Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) and learned that the app had breached regulations and Hong Kong laws by leaking the police’s location and endanger local citizens by pointing locations where law enforcement was weak.
However, the developer of HKMap.live disagreed with the statement, saying that it was not well-founded and there was “no evidence” to support the allegation. Also, the developer whose identity remains unknown stated that protest is included in people’s rights.
Despite being shut down on the iPhones, the protesters still could access the app through the browser on their iPhones. Besides, for those who have downloaded it before Apple’s statement, they still can access the app on their iPhones.
The Chinese official newspaper, People’s Daily, referred to the app as “toxic”. It also blamed Apple for letting it circulate on the App Store. By downloading the app, HKMap.live only makes the protests more violent.
Apple and CSTCB did not give any further statements except about the app’s closure. Not only HKMap.live but a news app called Quartz was also closed down due to covering protests in Hong Kong.