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Apple reportedly complies with Brazilian judge, removes 'Secret' from local App Store

Complying with an order from a Brazilian judge, Apple on Thursday appears to have removed anonymous social networking app Secret from its App Store, though it is unknown if the company took the prescribed step of wiping the app from users' phones.

According to reports citing unsuccessful iTunes searches and sources, Apple supposedly removed Secret from the Brazilian App Store sometime today after a local judge ordered a ban on the app for violating national law.

As Apple has not issued a statement on the matter, the removal is not official and could instead be a self-imposed takedown for maintenance.

Apple and Google were hit with preliminary injunctions on Tuesday, with Judge Paulo Cesar de Carvalho calling for the companies to ban Secret from their respective app stores and remotely delete all installations in Brazil. The judge also lumped Windows Phone app Cryptic into his decision.

At the time, the three companies were given ten days to comply with the order, after which time a fine of 20,000 Brazilian Real (about US$8,860) would be levied for each day the apps remain in service.

Judge de Carvalho's determination stems from a proposed action written by public prosecutor Marcelo Zenkner that looks to prevent cyber-bullying. Citing Article 5 of Brazil's constitution, Zenkner claims apps like Secret violate the law by allowing anonymous freedom of expression that infringes on human rights.

As for the second part of Judge de Carvalho's order, it is unknown if Apple has or will add Secret to a so-called app "blacklist," which would remotely disable the title by revoking its certificate. Apple's iOS is not capable of remotely deleting apps, but it can render software inoperable.

The iPhone, for example, periodically calls Apple's servers to retrieve a list of verified app certificates. Using this information, iOS can weed out installed apps that are unverified or blacklisted.