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Apple says Facebook's controversial market research app violated its policies

Apple has banned a controversial market research app Facebook used to collect information on how people use their smartphones because it vio...

Posted: Jan 30, 2019 5:22 PM
Updated: Jan 30, 2019 5:22 PM

Apple has banned a controversial market research app Facebook used to collect information on how people use their smartphones because it violated its agreement with the social network.

Teens and adults signed up and were paid by Facebook to participate in the program, which tracked users' phone and online activity, and was conducted via Facebook's market research app. The app was first reported by TechCrunch.

Facebook distributed the app to consumers through Apple's "Enterprise Developer Program." This program allows companies such as Facebook to test and distribute apps for their own employees to use, not the general public or consumers.

"Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple," an Apple spokesperson said. "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."

A Facebook spokesperson said Apple's action also impacted the social network's internal iOS apps that employees use.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook's research app may have been able to access information like private messages, web searches and location data. Users who agreed to take part in the program were given a "clear on-boarding process asking for their permission," according to a Facebook spokesperson.

The spokesperson also told CNN Business the app was not "spying" on people.

"Key facts about this market research program are being ignored," the spokesperson said. "There was nothing 'secret' about this; it was literally called the Facebook Research App."

The spokesperson added that less than 5% of participants were teens, and said that all of them signed parental consent forms.

The news comes as Facebook continues to deal with the fallout from other privacy scandals and concerns about how it handles user data. Last year, political research firm Cambridge Analytica improperly harvested information on tens of millions of Facebook users.

In October, Facebook said hackers accessed the phone numbers and email addresses of nearly 30 million users.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749532

Reported Deaths: 13746
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030911775
Lake554681006
Allen41636691
St. Joseph36947564
Hamilton36527416
Elkhart29363459
Tippecanoe22862225
Vanderburgh22542400
Porter19331325
Johnson18405388
Hendricks17588317
Clark13200193
Madison13120344
Vigo12604253
LaPorte12394221
Monroe12163175
Delaware10947198
Howard10263225
Kosciusko9614119
Hancock8549144
Bartholomew8162157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7772180
Grant7229179
Wayne7155201
Boone6917103
Morgan6736141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6206116
Cass5991108
Henry5894108
Dearborn588978
Noble580186
Jackson508674
Shelby500897
Lawrence4732121
Gibson444093
Harrison440773
Clinton440055
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Steuben399259
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White330253
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Jay200932
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Ohio57811
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1107225

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1285061459
Cuyahoga1156322204
Hamilton812991245
Montgomery524951040
Summit48356999
Lucas43309817
Butler38903603
Stark33297929
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Clermont20098252
Delaware18819135
Licking16649222
Fairfield16564204
Trumbull16527479
Medina15597270
Greene15256246
Clark14223306
Wood13281197
Portage13229214
Allen11903239
Richland11598211
Miami10837223
Wayne9116222
Columbiana9023230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8652122
Tuscarawas8639247
Marion8635138
Erie8052164
Ashtabula7139179
Hancock6996131
Ross6934161
Geauga6832150
Scioto6530104
Belmont6149174
Union583849
Lawrence5723102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5437125
Darke5415129
Seneca5344126
Washington5308109
Athens523360
Auglaize501687
Mercer487285
Shelby476295
Knox4568112
Madison443765
Ashland435197
Putnam4334103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4033110
Brown401961
Logan387377
Preble3847103
Clinton378566
Ottawa372781
Highland359465
Williams347878
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Guernsey324253
Jackson317554
Perry297150
Morrow291340
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Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268459
Van Wert247264
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Pike242735
Gallia240550
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll196948
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135839
Harrison113738
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
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