"There was nothing "secret" about this; it was literally called the Facebook Research App".
According to The Verge, sources within Google have reported that pre-release beta apps of Google Maps, Hangouts and Gmail for iOS have now stopped working, as well as employee-only apps like Google's internal cafe app.
On the heels of a report outlining ways Facebook Inc.is collecting data, Apple Inc. revoked a key set of testing tools that the social networking giant uses to ensure its apps are ready for use on the iPhone and iPad.
Sure, Apple banned Onavo, but that didn't cure Facebook's data thirst. By agreeing to have data collected on the apps on their devices as well as their web history, users were given digital gift cards worth $20.
This latest revelation has spurred US Senator Ed Markey to berate Facebook about offering teens money in exchange for their personal information when they don't have a clear understanding of how much data they're handing over and how sensitive it is.
This isn't the first time Facebook has bee caught abusing iOS enterprise certs; Apple previously booted the firm's data-slurping Onavo VPN app from the App Store for violating violated Cupertino's strict privacy rules.
Facebook characterized Project Atlas as a focus group "in alignment" with Apple's policies in initial comments to TechCrunch, though seven hours later admitted the company was stopping operations on iOS, "without admitting that Apple forced it to do", according to their report. In a memo to employees obtained by Business Insider, Facebook said it's "working closely with Apple to reinstate our most critical internal apps immediately". This essentially means that it can't test its beta versions of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and other internal apps for iOS as of now.
"I have concerns that users were not appropriately informed about the extent of Facebook's data-gathering and the commercial purposes of this data collection", Sen.
Most people did not realize that they were sharing their most personal messages and details with Facebook by having given them nearly limitless access to all their data since the data is being collected under the garb of beta testing services Applause, BetaBound and uTest. Still, Apple remains a major distributor of the Facebook app via the App Store, where the company's Instagram and Messenger are now ranked as the 5th and 9th most popular free apps.