Facebook and Google used iOS applications to collect broad user data – violating Apple's terms. But the group of iPhone attacks only against one of the two.
Following Facebook, Google has now been caught distributing an iOS application off the official App Store to a large extent in order to use it to collect data for using smartphones.
An application called Screenwise Meter uses VPN, which enabled Google to understand which web pages or which application the user uses for a while. The purpose here was obviously to collect market research data on the use of competitive products on the basis of which decisions can be made for future own services. But the way this apartment was distributed was not entirely kosher. Screenwise Meter has found its way to iPhone in the same way as the Facebook Research application.
App Store Bypass
Their existence was revealed yesterday. Among other things, the Facebook application for research was published on Instagram and requested volunteers at the age of 13, including minors. For $ 20 a month, users need to install the VPN application – which was very similar to the Onavo banned from the App Store in August – allowing Facebook to track all the Internet traffic on their smartphone.
However, this application was not installed in the iOS App Store, but with the so-called. Enterprise Certificates. After installing a certificate on iPhone, you can download applications directly from the manufacturer. The purpose of this program is in fact to allow employees in a company to first internally test the preliminary versions of the new apartment. Because Apple explicitly forbids the distribution of this type of non-employee applications, as Facebook did in this case.
As is typical for Facebook, the company first attempted to release the reports. Important facts about the program will be ignored. Thus, "only" 5 per cent of supervised users are minors. Facebook has not said a single word about the fact that their use of Enterprise Certificates clearly violated Apple's terms.
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Google is remorse
Shortly after the report for the Facebook application for research was also known in Google Screenwise Meter. Here, users were offered gift certificates as a reward for the installation. As part of the family account, the use of smartphones for children over the age of 13 was also followed. And Google also used Enterprise Certificates for the installation.
Unlike Facebook, Google was pretty precious in the first reaction. The application should not be distributed in this way. "It was a mistake and we apologize," Google told techcrunch.com. One already deactivates the application.
Apple passes through
The various reactions of the two tech giants may explain why Apple is currently reacting differently to an almost identical violation of its provisions. Compared to Facebook, it was cracked. Apple has revoked all corporate certificates from Facebook, and not just those used for the Facebook Research application.
This had a drastic impact on Facebook's work. For now, Facebook can no longer test earlier versions of the Facebook application or Instagram. Even an internal application that allows employees to see the current Facebook canteen menu can not be opened.
In Google, Apple did not go too far. Here, the effects are likely to be even more dramatic, as Google runs dozens of different iOS applications whose development will then come to a complete standstill. Perhaps the poisoning relationship between Facebook and Apple has played a role here. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook exchanged angry comments on a colleague's 2018 business model.
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