Apple 'rejected' Hong Kong mapping app that tracks police activity

MANILA, Philippines – Apple appears to have rejected a community mapping application used by people in Hong Kong to help track police activity, the Twitter account behind the HKmap app wrote on Thursday, October 3.

HKmap is used by Hong Kongers to map locations and points of interest, such as road or railway closures, as well as locations where police activity was occurring.

The Twitter account of HKmap wrote on Wednesday, October 2, it was rejected from the app store as its content "facilitates, enables, and encourages an activity – that is not legal... Specifically, the app allowed users to evade law enforcement."

"Your app contains content - or facilitates, enables, and encourages an activity - that is not legal ... Specifically, the app allowed users to evade law enforcement." @Apple assume our user are lawbreakers and therefore evading law enforcement, which is clearly not the case. — HKmap.live (@hkmaplive) October 1, 2019

Originally assumed to be a banning of the app, the HKMap's Twitter account clarified on October 3, the app was rejected as part of a review process, which resumed after appeal.

Clarification!!! We are never on the App Store, they rejected it during the review process. The process is resumed after recent appeal! — HKmap.live (@hkmaplive) October 3, 2019

The app's developers as well as tech users liken the mapping app to Waze, which informs users of traffic cameras or other types of monitoring, letting users slow down and adjust to situations as necessary.

Read this if you don't know how "illegal assembly" works in #HK https://t.co/SSqJ3NzMpn Just like Waze, people get notified of traffic cam ahead, so they can slow down. No one is breaking any law. — HKmap.live (@hkmaplive) October 2, 2019

With the ongoing protests in Hongkong, such an app may have obvious uses. Anger is mounting among protesters after a reporter was blinded in one eye and a protester was shot by police in two separate incidents. 

While HKMap is currently not on Apple's app store, it is still available via HKMap.live, its website. – Rappler.com