Google is violating Apple's iPhone app privacy rules the same way Facebook did [u: disable...

Posted:
in iOS edited January 30
Facebook is not the only major tech company found to be misusing Apple's Enterprise Certificate system, with a report claiming Google is pulling the same trick for its own app, one that is similar in nature to Facebook's now-blocked "Research" app.

Google Screenwise (via TechCrunch)
Google Screenwise (via TechCrunch)


Apple's Enterprise Certificates are designed for use within a company and not for the public, but following the revocation of certificates used by Facebook due to their misuse, it has been found Google has done practically the same thing. In Google's case, it has been distributing an iOS app called Screenwise Meter.

Much like the now-blocked Facebook Research app, Screenwise allows users to earn gift cards in exchange for Google monitoring a user's web traffic and data, reports TechCrunch, by installing a VPN app. Just as with Facebook's app, Screenwise Meter is sideloaded onto the iOS device with a Enterprise Certificate.

Under Apple's rules, the Enterprise Developer Certificates are meant for use within a company and not for public usage. To push apps out to the public, developers must either put it through the App Store, which has stringent privacy rules that must be obeyed, or offer it as part of Apple's TestFlight beta program, though that has a maximum user count of 10,000.

Furthermore, the original version of the app collected data from users as young as 13 years old. While the program is currently open to users of Google's Opinion Rewards aged 18 or older following a rebranding, it is still able to be used by those as young as 13 years if they are in the same household and added as a secondary panelist.

Sources inside Apple corporate not authorized to speak on behalf of the company told AppleInsider that "yeah, it's being talked about today upstairs" referring to conversation by executives, regarding Google's Screenwise Meter.

Given Apple's decision to pull Facebook's access to the system, it is likely a similar action will occur to Google. While Facebook discovered many of its in-beta and internal apps were inactive following the certificate withdrawal, it is unclear if Google will face a similar situation internally.

A statement provided to AppleInsider on Wednesday about Facebook's certificate removal notes "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 and their data."

Update: In a statement to AppleInsider, Google said it has disabled the Screenwise Meter iOS, adding that it should not have operated under an Enterprise Developer Certificate.
The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple's developer enterprise program. This was a mistake, and we apologize.

We have disabled this app on iOS devices. This app is completely voluntary and always has been. We've been upfront with users about the way that we use their data in this app, we have no access to encrypted data in apps and on devices, and users can opt out of the program at any time.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 243member
    Show of hands:
    How many are surprised that Google is violating privacy rules like Facebook?

    racerhomie3n2itivguyosmartormenajrAppleExposedhypoluxabonobobpotatoleeksoupdysamorialeavingthebiggjason leavitt
  • Reply 2 of 58
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,806member
    Apple,you are business and while holding privacy Ethics torch, at the end of day you are a business to make money for shareholders and employees.  Stop this die-hard privacy triumph. Most people outside USA(may be some Europeans) don't even care privacy long as you sell your products and services cheap. Sorry, Money talks,walks, and everything else for most people in world...
    How many people on Apple products related websites like Apple-insider,9to5Mac,MacRumers,etc come and say give me privacy at any cost ? Most say, Apple products are expensive even thought they like to own.
    edited January 30
  • Reply 3 of 58
    This just keeps on getting more disturbing. Please stop this Apple
    rcfaAppleExposedmagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 58
    Rene Ritchie posed the question ‘should Apple abanadon Google (as default search engine)?’ Billions of dollars of ‘services’ revenue be damned. Google/Facebook are a disgrace. 
    rcfaAppleExposedmagman1979lollivermacseekermike54lostkiwijbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 58
    The Good Fight: Also in this case it would be sweet if Apple opts to cover the legal fees for all those users who were rewarded by Google to sideload the VPN onto their devices, so they can all go to court and ask the judge to force Google to hire them since Google made them use that sw after contractually agreeing with Apple that it could be used by employees only.
    edited January 30 jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 58
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,986member
    wood1208 said:
    Apple,you are business and while holding privacy Ethics torch, at the end of day you are a business to make money for shareholders and employees.  Stop this die-hard privacy triumph. Most people outside USA(may be some Europeans) don't even care privacy long as you sell your products and services cheap. Sorry, Money talks,walks, and everything else for most people in world...
    How many people on Apple products related website come and say give me privacy at any cost ? Most say, Apple products are expensive even thought they like to own.
    Go away! This isn’t privacy at any cost it’s privacy at the right cost because too many people have had their identities stolen as well as photos and files. If non Americans don’t care about privacy that’s sad and says more about their country than anything Apple is of isn’t doing. 
    racerhomie3AppleExposedentropysmike1leftoverbacondysamoriamac_dogmagman1979poisednoiselolliver
  • Reply 7 of 58
    Is the word near the end of the paragraph starting with "Under Apple's..." spelled as intended?   :-)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 58
    Does this mean that Apple didn’t find that the apps conduct some side loading?
    in this case I’m wondering how walled the garden actually still is. 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 9 of 58
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 645member
    wood1208 said:
    Apple,you are business and while holding privacy Ethics torch, at the end of day you are a business to make money for shareholders and employees.  Stop this die-hard privacy triumph. Most people outside USA(may be some Europeans) don't even care privacy long as you sell your products and services cheap. Sorry, Money talks,walks, and everything else for most people in world...
    How many people on Apple products related websites like Apple-insider,9to5Mac,MacRumers,etc come and say give me privacy at any cost ? Most say, Apple products are expensive even thought they like to own.
    I, for one, am glad Apple makes privacy a priority. Not all of us believe our personhood should be a commodity. Maybe you should tell that to the European countries who are passing stricter privacy laws. 
    edited January 30 racerhomie3AppleExposedmike1kiltedgreenleftoverbacondysamorialeavingthebiggmagman1979macseekerchasm
  • Reply 10 of 58
    wood1208 said:
    Apple,you are business and while holding privacy Ethics torch, at the end of day you are a business to make money for shareholders and employees.  Stop this die-hard privacy triumph. Most people outside USA(may be some Europeans) don't even care privacy long as you sell your products and services cheap. Sorry, Money talks,walks, and everything else for most people in world...
    How many people on Apple products related websites like Apple-insider,9to5Mac,MacRumers,etc come and say give me privacy at any cost ? Most say, Apple products are expensive even thought they like to own.
    I’m off the clock now. Please serve me a glass of what you've been drinking, if it’s legal. It seems to be strong stuff.
    AppleExposedmike1leftoverbaconmagman1979lollivermacseekerStrangeDaysmuthuk_vanalingamjbdragoncharlesgres
  • Reply 11 of 58
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,645member
    wood1208 said:
    Apple,you are business and while holding privacy Ethics torch, at the end of day you are a business to make money for shareholders and employees.  Stop this die-hard privacy triumph. Most people outside USA(may be some Europeans) don't even care privacy long as you sell your products and services cheap. Sorry, Money talks,walks, and everything else for most people in world...
    How many people on Apple products related websites like Apple-insider,9to5Mac,MacRumers,etc come and say give me privacy at any cost ? Most say, Apple products are expensive even thought they like to own.
    Money does talk that’s why Apple still makes shirt tons of money with its privacy stance. Privacy is a right. 
    AppleExposedmike1kiltedgreenleftoverbacondysamoriamagman1979lollivermacseekerStrangeDayslostkiwi
  • Reply 12 of 58
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,439member
    This calls for another Congressional hearing with Fuckerberg and both Google Brothers subpoenaed. 
    lollivermacseekerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 58
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,422member
    If Google is doing this with iOS users, just imagine what they're doing with Android users!

    kiltedgreenmpw_amherstleftoverbaconmagman1979macpluspluslolliverericthehalfbeepotatoleeksoupapplesnorangeslostkiwi
  • Reply 14 of 58
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 584unconfirmed, member
    Funny how these scum bags can get away with anything but Apple gets blamed for "finding out too late".....
    magman1979lollivermacseekerStrangeDayslostkiwijbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 58
    wood1208 said:
    Apple,you are business and while holding privacy Ethics torch, at the end of day you are a business to make money for shareholders and employees.  Stop this die-hard privacy triumph. Most people outside USA(may be some Europeans) don't even care privacy long as you sell your products and services cheap. Sorry, Money talks,walks, and everything else for most people in world...
    How many people on Apple products related websites like Apple-insider,9to5Mac,MacRumers,etc come and say give me privacy at any cost ? Most say, Apple products are expensive even thought they like to own.
    Dude, are you that clueless on how much identity theft happens these days? If you aren't, then you have some learning to do. Having ethics in any big business these days is admirable, given how much influence companies have on our politics. Who says you can't do both? Make $ and have ethics.
    kiltedgreenAppleExposedleftoverbacondysamoriamagman1979lollivermacseekerEsquireCatsjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 58
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,549member
    Does this mean that Apple didn’t find that the apps conduct some side loading?
    in this case I’m wondering how walled the garden actually still is. 
    This facility is for within a workplace for work devices. It’s just google and Facebook exploiting that facility beyond its intended use outside the workplace. I guess Facebook could try to argue that as they pay people $20 they are “employees”. I am sure they could keep their face straight while doing so. Google and ‘rewards’ would be a bigger stretch.
    AppleExposedlolliverjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 58
    wood1208 said:
    Apple,you are business and while holding privacy Ethics torch, at the end of day you are a business to make money for shareholders and employees.  Stop this die-hard privacy triumph. Most people outside USA(may be some Europeans) don't even care privacy long as you sell your products and services cheap. Sorry, Money talks,walks, and everything else for most people in world...
    How many people on Apple products related websites like Apple-insider,9to5Mac,MacRumers,etc come and say give me privacy at any cost ? Most say, Apple products are expensive even thought they like to own.
    Apple makes (lots of) money because its goals are to make the best products it can in the best way it can thus making money for shareholders and employees. The latter is not the primary motivation for existence. You really don't know anything about how Apple works and why it's become the world's most successful company. You are not alone there either.
    leftoverbaconlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 58
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Quel surpris 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 58
    wood1208 said:
    Apple,you are business and while holding privacy Ethics torch, at the end of day you are a business to make money for shareholders and employees.  Stop this die-hard privacy triumph. Most people outside USA(may be some Europeans) don't even care privacy long as you sell your products and services cheap. Sorry, Money talks,walks, and everything else for most people in world...
    How many people on Apple products related websites like Apple-insider,9to5Mac,MacRumers,etc come and say give me privacy at any cost ? Most say, Apple products are expensive even thought they like to own.
    Both Google and Facebook should know better.  This violates Apple's privacy policy and may have allowed use of private APIs that could contribute to stability of users devices.  Certainly other companies should not be praised for violating EULAs.
    leftoverbaconlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 58
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,686member
    For Google and Facebook data collection is their lifeblood, their reason for being. Without customer data they cease to exist. Now their business “model” is in jeopardy as the public and politicians are jumping on the privacy bandwagon. These two tech lampreys attach themselves to customers and suck, suck, suck data out of them like a tick sucks blood out of a dog’s scrotum. They are getting cornered now and they will fight to the bitter end to protect their “products”. It could get real ugly real fast.
    edited January 30 magman1979geekmeelostkiwijbdragonwatto_cobra
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