The BBC reports that an anti-racism group, SOS Racisme, had complained about the way in which the app gave out personal data – namely, their religion – about individuals without their consent. This is illegal under French law.
Johann Levy, a 35-year-old developer who is Jewish and holds dual British and French nationality, denied that the app was in any way discriminatory and said that it was about ‘being proud’.
“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 told Le Parisien.
The app is still available in the App Store in Australia and costs $1.99. Its description reads:
“This app is only intended for fun. Nothing more! It does not aim to prove the superiority of any racial group. Remember that for each Jew listed in any one category there are many, many more equally talented non-Jews! The app simply shows that through hard work many Jews, often from immigrant families, have managed to achieve recognition.”
Apple has not made any comment about the removal of the app from France’s App Store.