Apple bans Facebook Research App

Facebook Research App

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It seems that Facebook hasn’t learned from its mistakes. Yet another time Facebook is at the center of another privacy scandal and this time it’s affected Apple.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook has been secretly paying to install a “Facebook Research App” that gives it access to users’ data and web activity.
The report claimed, Facebook has been paying users between the ages of 13 and 35 up to $20 a month to download the Research app and share their private data.
In the wake of TechCrunch investigation, Apple banned Facebook’s Research VPN app before the social network voluntarily shut it down.  
Apple has revoked the Enterprise Certificate that allows Facebook to distribute the Research app without going through the App Store. The app allowed Facebook to track users’ app history, private message, and their buying habits.
In order to allow people with iPhones to participate, Facebook sidestepped the strict privacy rules imposed by Apple in its App Store by taking advantage of a business application program designed for internal company use.
Apple ejected Facebook from the business app program, saying in a statement on Wednesday the program was “solely for the internal distribution of apps within an organization.”
“Facebook has been using its membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple,” Apple said in the statement.
Facebook claimed it didn’t do anything wrong. “Key facts about this market research program are being ignored. Despite early reports, there was nothing ‘secret’ about this; it was literally called the Facebook Research App. It wasn’t ‘spying’ as all of the people who signed up to participate went through a clear onboarding process asking for their permission and were paid to participate. Finally, less than 5 percent of the people who chose to participate in this market research program were teens. All of them with signed parental consent forms.” Facebook told TechCrunch.


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