In addition to Facebook, Google also has an iOS app that users can install via an Enterprise Certificate and which collects user data via a VPN. Google is open about the data the app collects, but it still seems to be against Apple’s policy.
The app is called Screenwise Meter, Techcrunch reports. Like the Facebook VPN app for iOS, Google does not provide the app through the App Store, but through the download of the app from a Google site. Then users have to look up the Google certificate in the settings and indicate that they trust it.
The Google app is part of the Opinion Rewards program, through which Google rewards users for providing information. In this part of the program, households can install and run the Screenwise Meter on various devices, after which it automatically sends data about sites and apps that panel members use.
Google is transparent about the data it receives via the app and the app also has a button to pause the data collection. Despite this, Google uses a certificate to install apps outside of the App Store that is only intended for company employees. Apple previously withdrew Facebook’s certificate, which means that the company can no longer test apps on iOS. This happened because the iPhone maker has a policy that an Enterprise Certificate may only be used by employees of the company that holds the certificate. Google’s app also seems to break those rules. Google and Apple have yet to comment on the story.