Tech

Apple takes action against Facebook following latest privacy scandal

Apple takes action against Facebook following latest privacy scandal

The VPN app, called Facebook Research, but referred to as "Project Atlas" in company documentation, provides absolute access to a device's network data.

The report goes on to explain that the Google app, called Screenwise (but since rebranded as part of the Google Opinion Rewards program), was launched in 2012 and let users earn gift cards in exchange for sideloading the VPN app that will let Google monitor their traffic and data.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook sidestepped Apple's app store and its tighter rules on privacy.

"We designed our Enterprise Developer Program exclusively for the internal distribution of apps within an organization", Apple's statement added.

Past year in August, Apple forced Facebook to remove its Onavo VPN app from the App Store as it was silently collecting user information and data on the pretext of being a VPN app.

Although the primary objective of a VPN is to protect one's internet activity, TechCrunch discovered that Facebook's app was able to decrypt and analyze users' phone activity.

In this case, Facebook circumvented TestFlight, instead directing participants to download the Facebook Research app from one of its sites.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook said it shut down the application on Apple's iOS on Wednesday after the article was published, but apparently kept it active for Android users.

Facebook has been paying people to install an app that allows the tech giant to collect data on how they use their smartphones.

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The company admitted that teens had participated in the program but clarified that "less than 5 percent" of the people involved were in their teens. "All of them with signed parental consent forms".

The incident, regardless of Facebook's strongly-worded response, will undoubtedly further tarnish the social media company's public image.

"We designed out Enterprise Developer Program exclusively for the internal distribution of apps within an organization".

Facebook said all of its employee-only iPhone apps are offline and that it's working with Apple to negotiate the issue.

Last year, when Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked if he was Facebook CEO after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal broke, the Apple CEO took a shot at Mark Zuckerberg and said, "I wouldn't be in this situation".

The sign-up pages of these services, meanwhile, have no mention of Facebook but disclose all the data that would be collected from participants.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Variety that this also impacted internal apps used by the company's workforce, and multiple reports indicated Wednesday morning that the company was caught off-guard. That means that Facebook would not be able to test its iOS apps internally. "We don't share this information with others and people can stop participating at any time". This is the core model that's made companies like Facebook and Google some of the world's most valuable firms - they are, at heart, advertising companies.

He vowed on Tuesday to reintroduce legislation - which was termed the Do Not Track Kids Act - in order to update privacy laws and make it illegal for companies to pay children to hand over their private data.


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