Apple Bans Facebook Research App

Apple has stated that it will be banning Facebook’s research app that collect’s users’ personal data.

Facebook seems to have been constantly at the centre of privacy scandals over the last couple of years and this time the social media giant has gone a step further to anger Apple users.

Phone maker Apple INC says that Facebook has broken an agreement it made with it by publishing a research app for iPhone users which enabled it to gather different kinds of personal data from its users.

A report by TechCrunch on Tuesday said that the app allowed Facebook to track users history, their location data and even private messages. It seems that the company had no restrictions to the users it targeted as people has young as 13 years of age had their data collected.

Apple’s Privacy Policy which it updated last summer state’s that the company is against the collection of such data in the way the Facebook app has apparently done. This privacy policy meant that the Facebook app was barred from the Apple store, but Facebook took advantage of Apple’s Developer Enterprise program which allows approved partners like Facebook to test and distribute apps specifically meant for employees. This means that employees are able to make use of third-party services to download beta versions of applications that the general public do not readily have access to.

As things stand, Apple does not review or approve apps of this nature as it will ordinarily do for apps that appear in its app store.

An apple PR rep speaking on this development said that “we designed our Enterprise Developer Program solely for the internal distribution of apps within an organization. Facebook has been using their membership to distribute data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple. Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked, which is what we did in this case to protect our users’ data and their data.”

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