iPhone

Facebook collected device data on 187,000 users using banned snooping app

Facebook obtained personal and sensitive device data on about 187,000 users of its now-defunct Research app, which Apple banned earlier this year after the app violated its rules. The social media giant said in a letter to Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s office — which TechCrunch obtained — that it collected data on 31,000 users in the…


Facebookobtained personal and sensitive device data on about 187,000 users of its now-defunct Research app, which Apple banned earlier this year after the app violated its rules.

The social media giant said in a letter to Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s office — which TechCrunch obtained — that it collected data on 31,000 users in the U.S., including 4,300 teenagers. The rest of the collected data came from users in India.

Earlier this year, a TechCrunch investigation found both Facebook and Google were abusing their Apple-issued enterprise developer certificates, designed to only allow employees to run iPhone and iPad apps used only inside the company. The investigation found the companies were building and providing apps for consumers outside Apple’s App Store, in violation of Apple’s rules. The apps paid users in return for collecting data on how participants used their devices and to understand app habits by gaining access to all of the network data in and out of their device.

Apple banned the apps by revoking Facebook’s enterprise developer certificate — and later Google’s enterprise certificate. In doing so, the revocation knocked offline both companies’ fleet of internal iPhone or iPad apps that relied on the same certificates.

But in response to lawmakers’ questions, Apple said it didn’t know how many devices installed Facebook’s rule-violating app.

“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,” said Timothy Powderly, Apple’s director of federal affairs, in his letter.

Facebook said the app dated back to 2016.

A portion of Apple’s letter to lawmakers. (Image: TechCrunch)

TechCrunch also obtained the letters sent by Apple and Google to lawmakers in early March, but were never made public.

These “research” apps relied on willing participants to download the a

Read More

Be the first to write a comment.

Leave a Reply

iPhone

Hulu interruption impacted small number of users, now resolved

Some Hulu customers found that the video streaming service was no longer working on their Apple devices, beginning in the early morning hours on Tuesday. According to tweets and other social media posts from customers as well as from websites like DownDetecto…

Some Hulu customers found that the video streaming service was no longer working on their Apple devices, beginning in the early morning hours on Tuesday. According to tweets and other social media posts from customers as well as from websites like DownDetecto…
Read More

Continue Reading
iPhone

Hulu interruption impacted small number of users, now resolved

Some Hulu customers found that the video streaming service was no longer working on their Apple devices, beginning in the early morning hours on Tuesday. According to tweets and other social media posts from customers, as well as from websites like DownDetect…

Some Hulu customers found that the video streaming service was no longer working on their Apple devices, beginning in the early morning hours on Tuesday. According to tweets and other social media posts from customers, as well as from websites like DownDetect…
Read More

Continue Reading
iPhone

Facebook pilloried over iPhone ‘secret camera access’ bug

Facebook has faced a barrage of concern over an apparent bug that resulted in the social media giant’s iPhone app exposing the camera as users scroll through their feed. A tweet over the weekend blew up after Joshua Maddux tweeted a screen recording of the Facebook app on his iPhone. He noticed that the camera…


Facebookhas faced a barrage of concern over an apparent bug that resulted in the social media giant’s iPhone app exposing the camera as users scroll through their feed.

A tweet over the weekend blew up after Joshua Maddux tweeted a screen recording of the Facebook app on his iPhone. He noticed that the camera would appear behind the Facebook app as he scrolled through his social media feed.

Several users had already spotted the bug earlier in the month. One person called it “a little worrying.”

Some immediately assumed the worst — as you might expect, given the long history of security vulnerabilities, data breaches and inadvertent exposures at Facebo

Read More

Continue Reading
iPhone

Pinterest starts displaying information from health organizations for searches related to vaccines

As part of its efforts against health misinformation, Pinterest is now displaying information from public health organizations for keywords like “measles” or “vaccine safety.” The social media platform had previously blocked vaccination-related search terms, but a new announcement says the company wants to close the “data void” that results from false information being spread more…


As part of its efforts against health misinformation, Pinterestis now displaying information from public health organizations for keywords like “measles” or “vaccine safety.” The social media platform had previously blocked vaccination-related search terms, but a new announcement says the company wants to close the “data void” that results from false information being spread more widely than accurate information.

“What we and others have observed is an enthusiasm gap between those creating and disseminating harmful health misinformation and those creating resources rooted in settled science,” wrote Ifeoma Ozoma, Pinterest’s public policy and social impact manager. “Generally, there’s more accessible and visually compelling health misinformation than science-based journal articles on the virtues of vaccinations. In addition, we’ve found that some purveyors

Read More

Continue Reading