Facebook personal and sensitive device data for 187,000 users was collected from the currently discontinued Research app which Apple banned earlier this year, the app was banned for violations. In an email to Senator Richard Blumenthal’s office, Facebook said it collected data on 31,000 US users, including 4,300 young people. Other data collected was from Indian users.
Earlier this year, the US media survey found that both Facebook and Google are abusing Apple’s Enterprise Developer Certificate, which is used primarily to develop iPhone and iPad apps for corporate employees only. The survey found that these companies violate Apple’s regulations and provide applications for ordinary users outside the Apple App Store. These applications collect data from participants using the device, understand their usage habits, and pay users.
For this reason, Apple has revoked Facebook and Google’s enterprise developer certificates and banned these applications. However, in response to user’ questions, Apple said that the company did not know how many devices installed Facebook’s offending applications.
Timothy Powderly, Apple’s Federal Affairs Director, said:
“We know that the provisioning profile for the Facebook Research app was created on April 19, 2017, but this does not necessarily correlate to the date that Facebook distributed the provisioning profile to end users.”