Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently stopped downloads from anonymous messaging app Secret in Brazil. This move is a reaction to Brazil’s preliminary injunction from earlier this week.
Apple may not completely remove the app
iOS users with non-Brazilian accounts can still download the app but there is zero sign of Apple completely removing the app which the ruling demands. This injunction was given to a public prosecutor, the same prosecutor who claimed people complained about the cyber bullies on Secret. Brazilian’s take on free speech law claims its citizens are entitled to free speech as long as it isn’t done in anonymity. The judge that granted the injunction added that any comment removal request would have to go to a United States judge through Brazil’s foreign ministry.
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Although the Secret app contains information that identifies users, the courts explained the procedure for dealing with complaints is a difficult process. Secret’s “promise” of anonymity is also believed to be unconstitutional. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have yet to copy Apple’s route by blocking downloads of Secret and Cryptic (Secret’s client). Both of these companies have about a week or two to go before the non-compliance fines start. fortunately for mobile platform operators, this injunction is only temporary relief. This means mobile platforms could dodge the matter without having to drop Secret.
Secret wants to remain a safe haven for users
Secret app is similar to Whisper and Yik Yak, apps that allow users to share secrets anonymously.These apps let people get things off their chest in a safe environment. Unfortunately, this and similar apps are sometimes used by cyber bullies. Secret has yet to comment on the matter but it did mention on it’s official website that they believed anonymity powers the people. It inspires people to share their deepest thoughts and start new conversations. The company also hopes users will keep the app safe for all users.