Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Google to Stop Distributing Screenwise App, Highly Similar to Facebook’s Creepy Research App

Zack Whittaker, Josh Constine, and Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch:

Google has been running an app called Screenwise Meter, which bears a strong resemblance to the app distributed by Facebook Research that has now been barred by Apple, TechCrunch has learned.

[…]

After we asked Google whether its app violated Apple policy, Google announced it will remove Screenwise Meter from Apple’s Enterprise Certificate program and disable it on iOS devices.

The company said in a statement to TechCrunch:

“The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple’s developer enterprise program — this was a mistake, and we apologize. We have disabled this app on iOS devices. This app is completely voluntary and always has been. We’ve been upfront with users about the way we use their data in this app, we have no access to encrypted data in apps and on devices, and users can opt out of the program at any time.”

Looks like Google got the message after Apple proved that they would not hesitate to act upon clear violations of their enterprise distribution rules for anti-privacy purposes. I wonder if they’ll also act upon other big-name violators of their enterprise rules, like Amazon and DoorDash.

Update: Apple has now pulled Google’s enterprise certificate. Just because Google tried to pull their creepy app and apologize before Apple intervened, that doesn’t mean it didn’t violate Apple’s enterprise distribution agreement.