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After Facebook, Google disables app that collected users’ data: Report

San Francisco, Jan 31 (IANS) After Apple revoked Facebook’s iOS developer certificate for using an app that closely tracked some users data, there was another app from Google that also monitored users’ data on their smartphones.

According to a TechCrunch report late Wednesday, Google has now disabled the app called “Screenwise Meter” that let the company track data and traffic usage on smartphones of users who agreed to that.

In its app, Google invited users aged 18 and up (or 13 if part of a family group) to download the app by way of a special code and registration process using an Enterprise Certificate.

“That’s the same type of policy violation that led Apple to shut down Facebook’s similar Research VPN iOS app” called “Facebook Research” where the social media giant was found to be secretly paying teenagers $20 each, asking them to install the app that let the company access personal data to know how they use their smartphones.

“The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple’s developer enterprise programme – this was a mistake, and we apologize. We have disabled this app on iOS devices,” a Google spokesperson told Fortune.

Facebook also decided to pull the plug on the app from all Apple devices. The app, however, remains available for Android users.

The app allows Facebook to collect data including private social media messages, photos and videos sent via instant messaging apps, emails, web searches and web browsing activities.

Facebook previously collected similar data using “Onavo” Protect, a virtual private network (VPN) service that it acquired in 2013.

The company also denied that “Facebook Research” was intended to replace “Onavo”.

–IANS

na/bg

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