Google Discovered Collecting User Data From Apple Via Internal Apps

Monday, 04 Feb, 2019

Apple has apparently revoked certificates for Google's internal iOS apps (not its consumer apps). Apple expressly forbids such uses of enterprise certificates; they're created to allow companies to develop and distribute apps purely for internal use or limited beta testing.

In a statement to the New York Times' Mike Isaac, Facebook confirmed that Facebook is now "in the process" of returning its internal apps to working order. It's unclear how this will impact that deal when renewal discussions begin.

"Our internal corporate apps have now been restored", a Google spokeswoman said in a statement.

One day after Facebook had its enterprise developer certificates revoked by Apple, Google ran into similar troubles with the iOS and App Store owner. This includes what apps were being used, what websites were visited, who they were texting, and what those messages said. And Apple has made clear, enterprise distribution has limits. This means that any apps Google was distributing to employees internally, including beta versions of products, stopped working. The iPhone maker had restored Facebook's privileges earlier. Tech blog TechCrunch reported this week that the social media platform Facebook paid about United States dollars 20 a month to teens and other users who agreed to download the Facebook Research app. Google has since rebranded the program as part of its Cross Media Panel and Google Opinion Rewards programs, which reward users for installing tracking systems on their mobile phone, PC web browser, router and TV.

While Google has its own operating system, Android, a large number of the company's nearly 100,000 employees use iPhones for their work, and the firm releases much of its software on both Android and Apple's iOS. "We don't share this information with others and people can stop participating at any time".

Apple previously asked Facebook to remove its data collecting Onavo VPN app from the iOS App Store. "They could opt-out at any time".

Facebook app for iOS users has been updated to version 206.0, and while it brings under the hood improvements for other iPhone users, it also introduces native higher resolution support. Following the press coverage, it has to disable its Screenwise Meter app. This app is completely voluntary and always has been.

Facebook revealing they've been using an app, called "Facebook Research", to track the behavior of its users, many teenagers.

Google also offers the ability to hit pause when participants want a break from monitoring or when someone younger than 13 is using the device.

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