Optus is putting ads on your iPhone lock screen

(Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

A recent update to Optus’ iPhone app shows that the telco will be pushing out marketing material through notifications to iPhone customers.

The update, which began rolling out on February 28 states that one of the new features is “push notification for marketing messages”.

This comes in clear breach of Apple’s terms and conditions of its App Stores, with one such condition stating “Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.”

Joseph Durkin first posted about it on Twitter, with Optus’ social media team replying with “That would be if your account has been targeted for an awesome offer, it will pop up as an alert ;)”, which involves direct marketing to the customer.

The fact that the update got through Apple’s approval systems looks like a slip up on its part, or could signal that the iPhone maker is easing its restrictions in that area for developers.

We reached out to both Apple and Optus to see what’s going on, with Optus saying that all updates are required to be approved by Apple, which this was. They also said that the changes were clearly communicated and users can opt out. Apple is yet to respond.

This comes on the same week that The Australian has revealed Optus is needing to slash costs throughout the business, including the closing down of poor performing stores and redundancy of employees across the company. Optus has denied it will be letting 1000 employees go like first reported, but did not deny that a significant number will be losing their jobs.

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