After the Facebook VPN scandal, it was revealed that Google is also using the same Apple backdoor to collect user data over the age of 18 and up (or 13 if part of a family group). Like the Facebook Research app, Google’s Screenwise Meter app is also using Apple Enterprise Certificate, which is used only for internal employees and bypasses the App Store to collect a lot of user data.
After the user downloads the app, fill in the user questionnaire and then download the base enterprise’s VPN program through a special code that tracks all of the user’s applications and network usage. In order to attract users, Screenwise exchanges their data by submitting a questionnaire to send a gift card.
The app was launched in 2012 and was later renamed as the part of the Cross Media Panel and Google Opinion Rewards programs that reward users for installing tracking systems on their mobile phone, PC web browser, router and TV.
Like the Facebook Research app, the Screenwise Meter originally only supported users over the age of 13 and later changed the age requirement to 18 or older. However, minors can still participate in the same family sharing program with age-appropriate users.
According to TechCrunch reports, Google said it will close the Screenwise Meter app.