By; Ahmed Yasser
CAIRO, Jan. 31 (SEE)- Apple announced on Wednesday it had banned Facebook from a program designed to let businesses control iPhones used by their employees and reported that the social networking company improperly used it to track the web-browsing habits of teenagers.
On Tuesday, ”TechCrunch” reported that Facebook was paying users as young as 13 years old to install an app called ”Facebook Research”. The app used Apple’s business tools to ask for an iPhone user’s permission to install so-called virtual private network software that can track browsing habits.
The ban does not affect Facebook’s apps in Apple’s App Store, which Facebook depends on to distribute Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram apps to iPhone users. But it does mean that Facebook will not be able to distribute internal apps to its own employees.
For years Facebook has been paying some users $20 per month to install a research app on their phones that can collect intimate information about their online behavior and communications.
Since 2016, users aged 13 to 35 could exchange their privacy for payment through a Facebook research app on iOS and Android devices, the report said. In some advertisements for the app displayed on Instagram and Snapchat, teens were targeted to participate in a paid social media research study and if they tried to sign up were asked to get their parent’s approval through a web form.
According to a report published by reuters, noted that Apple offers what are known as certificates that let businesses have deep controls over iPhones, with the potential to remotely install apps, monitor app usage and access and delete data owned by a business on an iPhone. Apple designed the program for organizations whose staff use iPhones for official duties, when privacy needs are different from phones for personal use.
Is facebook shutting down its research app on iOS to avoid the same type of scrutiny Apple applied to Onavo?. Facebook did not immediately respond to questions about that or why it is still operating the same app for Android users.