News Roundup: Apple punishes Facebook and Google for violating app rules

News Roundup: Apple punishes Facebook and Google for violating app rules

Apple vs. Facebook and Google

Last year, we covered a lot of horror stories about Facebook, ranging from the Cambridge Analytica scandal to several data breaches and its somewhat aggressive pursuit of a number of Facebook-critical voices. 2018 didn't end on a particularly good note for the social media giant and it's only taken four weeks for the site to be dominating the headlines again for all the wrong reasons.

On Tuesday, Techcrunch published its findings from an investigation into Facebook, claiming the social network had been paying teenagers to install a ‘Facebook Research' VPN on their phones that would allow Facebook to see almost everything they did.

The report states that since 2016, Facebook have been paying users aged between 13-35 $20 to sell their privacy to Facebook by installing an app on their iOS or Android devices. Facebook would then be able to view the browsing activities, access network traffic and even request some users screenshot and send it their Amazon order history page.

After the report was published, a spokesperson for Facebook said it would be shutting down the ‘research app' but it appears Apple pulled it from its App Store before Facebook got around to removing it voluntarily; citing violations of Apple's privacy policy. The app will continue to run on Android devices.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of Facebook's week of woe. On Wednesday, it was revealed that Apple had gone one step further than simply removing the Facebook Research app. It blocked all of Facebook's internal apps, stopping employees from being able access everything from company apps for transportation and the lunch menu, along with beta versions of Facebook apps like Messenger and Instagram.

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Charlotte Trueman

Charlotte is Staff Writer at IDG Connect. She is particularly interested in the impact technology will have on the future of work and promoting gender diversity throughout the tech industry.

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