Yesterday (30), Facebook was the subject of a new controversy. It was that the social network paid young users to spy on them through the Facebook Research app. Today (31) is the turn of Google to go through the same situation.
According to TechCrunch, Web Giant used the Screenwise Meter app to exchange gift certificates for data. And, like Facebook, would also have violated the App Store guidelines. Google distributed the app as if it were an internal company service to be able to collect information from users. Something that Apple’s apps store does not allow in programs offered to the general public.
To perform the dribble on the defenses of the App Store, Google asked users over 18 to download Screenwise Meter. And use a special code during setup. This code was Apple’s Enterprise Certificate. It attested to the system’s use of the app by someone from within Google.
In response to the discovery of violation of the guidelines of the App Store, Google apologized. It said that everything was just a misunderstanding.
“The Screenwise Meter app for iOS should not have operated under Apple‘s developer company program. That was a misnomer and we apologize”. The company said in a statement.
“We disabled this app on iOS devices. He is and always has been totally volunteer. We were sincere with users about the way we use their data in this application. We do not have access to encrypted data on apps and devices. And users can leave the program at any time, “he concluded.
Transparency but not so much
The sincerity of Google with users is not questionable. After all the company was in fact very clear about what it collected and the way it was used. It even had a kind of “private mode” that made it impossible to identify anyone who participated in the program.
In addition to the privacy issues that are implied in this case, however. The fact is that the company has used unethical devices to distribute such an app to the public. And offer them the chance to earn some money in exchange for monitoring their activities.
One thing is worth remembering. It’s that, yesterday, after the Facebook case surfaced, Apple revoked the credentials of the social network developer company within the App Store, which would have limited. In addition, the functioning of developer versions of some of the company’s apps. So far, Apple has not commented on the case of Google. But we can expect that the reaction is similar to that of Wednesday.