Google to Shut Down iOS Version of Screenwise Meter

By Nitish Singh / January 31, 2019

Google was caught working its way around Apple’s employee-only app distribution guidelines to collect private user data. The company’s Screenwise Meter app invited users to download the app using Enterprise Certificates. The move was similar to what Facebook had implemented with its Research VPN app that got shut down. The Screenwise app was caught violating an Apple policy and will be taken down soon.

According to an official Statement by Google, the app should not have been distributed under the developer enterprise program, and the company has apologized for the same. The app was first launched in 2012 and sideloading the app rewarded users with gift cards thanks to a partnership between Cross Media Panel and Google’s Opinion Rewards programs.

The app has been shut down on iOS only, and it is still available on Android. However, the registration process that was open to users as young as 13 years old has been changed. New users need to be at least 18 years of age to use the app. The app offered rewards in exchange for complete screen activity monitoring.

Google Screenwise Meter

Image Courtesy of TechCrunch

Apple’s Enterprise Certificate program is meant for apps that are meant for internal use only and is used by organizations to distribute private apps to employees. However, Google violated guidelines in the program and now has to pay the price. Apple is yet to make an official statement about the situation, and it might lead to Google facing punishment.

The Screenwise app was very open about its data collection and unlike Facebook’s VPN app, it informed users what data was being collected and that it may be used by Google for research purposes.

What do you think about Google’s Screenwise app violating Apple guidelines? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t hesitate to do the same on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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