Caroline Westbrook

Apple withdraws Jew or Not Jew app from France after furore

Written by Caroline Westbrook. Posted in Technology

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Jew or not Jew iTunes app removed by Apple in France

Published on September 16, 2011 with No Comments

An iPhone app called Jew or Not Jew has been withdrawn from Apple’s online store in France over concerns that it was breaking French law.

The app, which can be downloaded to the phone, allows users to find out whether certain celebrities and other public figures are Jewish.

However French group SOS Racisme, which tackles issues of racial abuse in the country, has condemned the app, saying it is illegal because French law does not allow personal data to be compiled without the individual’s consent.

This app violates local law and is no longer available in the app store in France,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr explained to US newspaper the Wall Street Journal.

However Johann Levy, who created Jew or Not Jew has hit back saying it is “recreational”.

The 35-year-old developer said that there was nothing untoward about the app.

“I’m not a spokesman for all Jews, but as a Jew myself, I know that in our community we often ask whether such and such celebrity is Jewish or not,” Levy – who is half-British and half-French - told iPhone site, iPhone Bloggers. “For me, there’s nothing pejorative about saying that someone is Jewish or not. On the contrary, it’s about being proud.”

The app – which features information on more than 3,500 famous people – is still available for the iPhone outside France.

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