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Korea’s iTunes App Store gets personal, wants developers to show contact details

Steven Millward
Korea’s iTunes App Store gets personal, wants developers to show contact details

Apple’s iTunes App Store is now asking that app and game developers provide full contact details that are viewable by users of the South Korean store. Developers must now reveal their real name, address, phone number, and email to all users in the Korea iTunes App Store.

Matt Mayer, an iOS developer and creator of the Asia-oriented ExploreMetro apps, first noticed this new requirement pop up over the weekend.

In this new section, Apple says to developers:

To offer your app on the Korean App Store, you must provide additional information that will be displayed alongside your app. Note that this information will only appear in the Korean App Store.

Matt says, “Previously it was necessary to provide a phone number but this was only visible to Apple. [S]howing developer’s full addresses raises some privacy concerns. The fields are opt-in but Apple implies your apps will not be shown to users in Korea unless you provide the new contact details.” As shown in the above screenshot inside iTunes Connect, app developers big or small need to nominate a contactable trade rep and a physical address for the business.

On the flip side, it could prove useful for consumers to have greater access to an app developer’s email or phone number, rather than the usual process of finding their webpage and navigating to the ‘Contact Us’ section. Many developers fail to give any means of contact.

South Korea, while it has the fastest internet speeds in Asia, is the most strict in its insistence on real-name usage of the web. While a sweeping real-name law was rejected by the country’s Constitutional Court last summer, many parts of the web mandate being used in conjunction with your full name and national ID number.

It’s likely that Apple is complying with South Korean authorities to make app developers more visible and thereby accountable for their games or services. We’ve contacted an Apple representative in Asia and will update if we hear back.

(Editing by Josh Horwitz)


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