Facebook has yet again vowed to "do better" after it was caught secretly bypassing Apple's privacy rules to pay adults and teenagers to install a data-slurping iOS app on their phones.
The increasingly worthless promises of the social media giant have fallen on deaf ears however: on Wednesday, Apple revoked the company's enterprise certificate for its internal non-public apps, and one lawmaker vowed to reintroduce legislation that would make it illegal for Facebook to carry out such "research" in future.
The enterprise cert allows Facebook to sign iOS applications so they can be installed for internal use only, without having to go through the official App Store. It's useful for intranet applications and in-house software development work.
Facebook, though, used the certificate to sign a market research iPhone application that folks could install it on their devices. The app was previously kicked out of the official App Store for breaking Apple's rules on privacy: Facebook had to use the cert to skirt Cupertino's ban.
The VPN-based app is similar to one Facebook used to offer called Onavo Protect, which also logged and forward user activity to Facebook, but that app was specifically banned by Apple last year over privacy concerns.
Facebook wasn't able to get a similar app approved due to changes in Apple's rules, and so it used the aforementioned enterprise certificate program, run by Apple, that is only for internal-use apps to get around the restrictions, an investigation by TechCrunch this week revealed.
In Facebook's case, it knowingly broke those rules by encouraging third parties – including children – to download the app and use it. And it paid them to do so. And then, as its activity was exposed, embarked – yet again – on a series of half-truths and lies rather than acknowledge what it was really doing.
Furious Apple revokes Facebook's enty app cert after Zuck's crew abused it to slurp private data • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk