Apple revokes Facebook's ability to deploy apps internally amid privacy scandal dispute

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Google requires the primary user of the app to be at least 18 years old, but kids as young as 13 are able to download it if they are part of a family group.

The Facebook Research app pays teenagers $20 for extensive access to their phone and web activity. "Onavo Protect, an app which claimed to "[help] keep you and your data safe when you go online, by blocking potentially harmful websites and securing your personal information", was discovered to be collecting and sending usage data to Facebook, including about the frequency with which non-browsers were used, even when the VPN functionality was disabled.

Google has removed its audience-research app Screenwise Meter from Apple's program for enterprise customers to test iOS apps internally, after Apple yesterday revoked Facebook's certificate over a similar research app that violated the program's policies.

"Finally, less than five percent of the people who chose to participate in this market research program were teens".

Its tit-for-tat battle with Apple isn't the only headache Facebook is now suffering, as U.S. lawmaker.

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Flashback: Facebook previously collected data through Onavo Protect, which is a VPN service that it brought back in 2013, according to The Verge.

Users would have all phone and internet usage tracked - private messages, web searches, geolocation, encrypted sessions and all - and sent to Facebook, unencrypted, for analysis.

In a statement to Fast Company, Apple said that Facebook was in "clear breach of their agreement".

The tech news site found that Facebook operates a program called "Project Titan", in which it recruits willing Apple iOS and Android users to give them root access to their devices, thereby allowing Facebook to view extensive data on participants' mobile activity.

It's a big deal to have your enterprise app certificate revoked, since it powers a company's internal-only iOS apps as well as beta apps that many employees are running. According to a report at The Verge, early versions of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and other beta apps have stopped working, as have internal apps used by employees. Apple's decision to pull Google's enterprise certificate comes despite Google pulling its Screenwise app and apologising.

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Apple's decision demonstrates both its power over the industry and a longstanding desire to be seen as a champion of privacy.

It turns out that Google, like Facebook, abused its Apple Enterprise Developer Certificate to distribute a data collection app to iOS users, in direct contravention of Apple's rules for the distribution program.

This enterprise certificate is meant to be for employee iOS devices only, but Facebook was caught the other day using this privilege to distribute an app to users outside the company, in what was a paid data-gathering scheme.

"We designed our Enterprise Developer Program exclusively for the internal distribution of apps within an organization", Apple said in a statement.

Similar to Facebook's now-defunct Facebook Research app, Google's Screenwise Meter app uses an Enterprise Certificate to bypass the App Store.

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As of Wednesday, a disclosure form on Betabound, one of the services that distributed Facebook Research, informed prospective users that by installing Facebook Research, they are letting Facebook collect a range of data.