Apple removes police-tracking app used in HK protests


San Francisco, Oct 10 (IANS): The multinational technology giant Apple said that it had removed an iPhone application allegedly used by anti-government protesters in Hong Kong to track and attack police.

Apple said in a statement that the Hkmap.live application was no longer available on iPhone App Store, Efe news agency reported on Thursday.

"We have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimize residents in the areas where they know there is no law enforcement," the Apple statement said.

It added that "this app violates our guidelines and local laws".

Apple's decision comes a day after the Chinese state-run People's Daily newspaper criticised Apple for allowing the application to be used on its mobile devices.

"Providing a gateway for 'toxic apps' is hurting the feelings of the Chinese people," the paper said, confirming that Hkmap.live opened the door to violent protests.

Protests in Hong Kong started in June over the now-shelved extradition bill which has turned more into a democracy movement, with demonstrators asking Chief Executive Carrie Lam to step down.

After Lam introduced the colonial-era anti-mask ban last week, the city has come to a standstill with more protests erupting against the legislation.

  

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