App StoreSource: Joe Keller / iMore

Apple has apologized to the developer of an indigenous language app after mistakenly removing it from the App Store.

From Global News:

A free Indigenous language app developed by a first-year UBC student from Prince Rupert, B.C. is up and running again after Apple mistakenly accused the young developer of dishonest and fraudulent acts.

“One day I just got an email from Apple and it was all gone,” Brendan Eshom said. “All my hard work was gone that I had spent almost half a year on.”

Eshom is a member of the Gitga’at community of the Ts’msyen First Nation. In Grade 12, he launched a website and app to share his culture by promoting a word each day in the Sm’algyax language.

The report notes how the Sm’algyax Word app was launched on Android and iOS in July, was “unexpectedly” removed a few weeks later. Eshom received an email from Apple stating his developer account was to be terminated “for dishonest and fraudulent acts related to that agreement”.

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Pressed by Global News’ Consumer Matters, Apple responded in a statement of apology:

“Maintaining the integrity of the App Store is a responsibility we take seriously to ensure the safety of our customers, and give every developer a platform to share their brightest ideas with the world. Unfortunately, this developer’s app, which is a great example of how technology can be used to bridge cultural understanding, was mistakenly removed from the App Store.

We regret this error and apologize to Mr. Eshom for the inconvenience this caused him. We have since reinstated his developer account and app, and will continue our efforts to improve our processes to ensure this does not happen again.”

Apple told the outlet it had removed more than half-a-million developer accounts for fraudulent activity in the last year. Just last week Apple removed a scam app fleecing App Store users out of $300,000 a month, however, the developer and other similar scam apps remain at large.



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