Yesterday, Apple pulled from its App Store the paid version of a sex-offender-locating app called ThinAir Wireless. The free version of the app remains available for download., according to Trip Wakefield, an employee of
According to Wakefield, the app was pulled for legal reasons. ThinAir is currently trying to contact Apple's legal department to get more detail, but at press time did not yet have an answer from Apple. (Trip also noted that although a TechCrunch story on the rejection suggests that the company is considering a lawsuit against Apple, no lawsuit has been threatened or filed so far.)
It's not yet clear which laws the app may have violated, but posters on both CNET and TechCrunch have suggested that the state of California prohibits the sale of criminal information for profit.
The apps rejection caused some surprise, since the software was a popular item in the App Store, ranked at position seven in the top 10 prior to being pulled. According to Wakefield, a competing app, Sex Offenders Search ($1.99 via iTunes), remained on sale even after Offender Locator was pulled.
Our own attempt to contact Apple at press time for their comment on this matter was not successful.