Facebook will Block its Research App for iOS Platform

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Facebook will close the controversial research program for the iOS platform which has broken the Apple Developers Guidelines to read the data from the user who have installed their Research app.

TechCrunch reported this news that Facebook Research app which offers peoples between the age group of 13 to 35 with a $20 monthly gift card will be discontinued for Apple users. However, it will continue running for Android users. This app by Facebook monitors the data like web activity of the user who has installed this app and sends the report back to Facebook for market research purpose. In return to that, Facebook offers the user a $20 gift card on a monthly basis.

This app has been placed in the market since 2016 and is somehow similar to that of Facebook’s Onavo Protect app which was banned by Apple last June claiming that it has violated Apple’s Policies. This Research App by Facebook need permission to see the user’s private data including messages, emails, web searches, and browsing activity and for that, it let the user to install a custom root certificate which allows these permissions to this app. However, Apple’s system functionality prohibits the developer to install this custom certificates in the phone.

“Despite early reports, there was nothing ‘secret’ about this; it was literally called the Facebook Research App. It wasn’t ‘spying’ as all of the people who signed up to participate went through a clear on-boarding process asking for their permission and were paid to participate. Finally, less than 5 percent of the people who chose to participate in this market research program were teens. All of them with signed parental consent forms,” a Spokesperson from Facebook said in a statement.

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