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Apple Banishes Facebook Data Reaper From iPhones

By John P. Mello Jr.

Apple on Tuesday blocked a Facebook app that paid users for total access to all network data passing through their mobile phones.

The controversy over use of the Facebook Research app first was reported by TechCrunch, which revealed that Facebook was paying users US$20 a month for root network access to their phones.

Facebook was on-boarding users of the program, which included teenagers, through Apple's Enterprise system, which Apple said was a violation of its policy.

The Enterprise system is supposed to be used only for the distribution of internal corporate apps to employees, not to paid external testers, TechCrunch explained.

"Facebook was collecting data on virtually anything they did on their mobile device," said Shane Green, U.S. CEO in the Washington, D.C. offices of, a personal data management service.

"The VPN they used for this tracks all data coming in or out of the device at a raw, unencrypted level, so there was virtually nothing a user was doing on a mobile device that Facebook couldn't get access to if it chose," he told TechNewsWorld.

"I haven't personally seen a program that invasive before," Green added. "Coming from a company like Facebook, it's even more worrisome."

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