Apple revokes Facebook's ability to deploy apps internally amid privacy scandal dispute

Apple revokes Facebook's ability to deploy apps internally amid privacy scandal dispute

Apple revokes Facebook's ability to deploy apps internally amid privacy scandal dispute

It invited users aged 18 and above (or 13 and above in a family group), to install the app and the enterprise trust certificate in order to monitor users' activities on their mobile devices. It turns out that Google had done similar with an app called Screenwise Meter. Following TechCrunch's report, Senator Mark Warner sent a stern letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg with a list of questions about the company's data gathering practices, and Senator Ed Markey vowed to reintroduce legislation to make it illegal for companies to pay children to hand over their data. They contacted the Facebook team in August and told them that the said app violated their data collection policies, following which it was taken off their store. Facebook Research, an app the company paid users as young as 13 to install that routed their iPhone traffic through the company's own servers, had been built using an enterprise developer certificate (EDC) issued by Apple to companies that need to build applications for internal use. Finally, less than 5 percent of the people who chose to participate in this market research program were teens.

Facebook made a decision to avoid Apple's service entirely to carry out its nefarious scheme.

Facebook's baby-faced chief hit back, calling Cook's argument "extremely glib".

This isn't the first time Facebook has bee caught abusing iOS enterprise certs; Apple previously booted the firm's data-slurping Onavo VPN app from the App Store for violating violated Cupertino's strict privacy rules.

However: Facebook removed that app from the App Store a year ago after Apple said the app violated store policies, according to The Verge. The Verge reports that "early versions of Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail, and other pre-release beta apps have stopped working today, alongside employee-only apps like a Gbus app for transportation and Google's internal cafe app". Facebook agreed and pulled it out of the App Store.

The Screenwise Meter app, launched in 2012, had a similar installation process to the Facebook Research app that's now been shut down. On top of the fact that the company is no longer able to test their apps on iOS, Facebook employees using beta-versions of numerous apps suddenly found that their access had been revoked.

The company's VPN app required users to provide root access to their device and once this was done, they had to keep the VPN running and sending data to the social network to get paid.

That was good for the privacy of iOS users, but the past few weeks have brought new revelations about Android apps secretly sharing data with Facebook, even when users are logged out or don't even have a Facebook account. His concerns also extended to adult users, he said: "Consumers deserve simple and clear explanations of what data is being collected and how it being used".

Facebook distributed the app to consumers through Apple's "Enterprise Developer Program". "Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple".

Apple's decision demonstrates both its power over the industry and a longstanding desire to be seen as a champion of privacy.

Related news