Facebook may not be the only tech giant violating Apple’s developer program policies. Less than a day after Facebook got caught paying users, including teens, $20 a month in gift cards to use its Research App that collected troves of users’ personal data, source’s report revealed that Google is guilty of a similar practice.
Google allows users to download its Screenwise Meter app in return for points, which add up to redeemable electronic gift cards. The VPN app gives Google access to traffic and data on users’ devices. Google requires the primary user of the app to be at least 18 years old, but kids as young as 13 can download it if they are part of a family group.
Screenwise Meter is now part of Google’s Cross Media Panel and Google Opinion Rewards programs, which also includes traffic and data collection and analysis on PCs, TVs, and even through special Google-supplied routers. While this level of data collection might freak you out, it is Google’s potential violation of Apple’s policies that may cause it problems.
Apple’s policy requires any apps that use its Enterprise Certificate program, and thus do not go through Apple’s App Store, to only be used internally by company employees. Any external tests had to go through Apple’s TestFlight system and be limited to just 10,000 users.
“The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple’s developer enterprise program — this was a mistake, and we apologize,” a Google spokesperson said.
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