Facebook launched Market Research app for iOS users and received the data from users to study the behavioral patterns. But, the app could harvest the data from the users by paying them $20 gift cards, and that’s what violating the Terms and Conditions of Apple’s App Store. From the launch, the app became controversial as it monitored every activity of the users through the VPN connection. On the name of survey and research, this app collected the entire browsing history of the users by forcing them to connect to a VPN network of own.
The app violated Apple Developers Policy, and that’s why the app was removed from the Apple Store. With this decision, the company has decided to shut down the program for iOS users, but the app is still available for Android users through an invite-only system. The application installed a root certificate, which allowed it to gain access to the private messages, browsing history and many other things that they used to advertise. As installing a root certificate in iOS is not permitted and violates the Terms and Conditions, it was removed and now does not work on the iOS devices.
The app used to give the $20 gift cards per month to the participants who are of the age 13 and 35 in exchange for all-access data through the VPN service. This is not the first time Facebook acquired the personal data of the users through an app. Back in 2013, the company collected the data using the VPN service named Onavo protect. Facebook purchased the Onavo Protect for snooping on the VPN users and understanding their browsing patterns and other data. Facebook Market Research app is discontinued for iOS users, but still available for the Android users.