Apple Removes Apps That Block Ads In Apps Over Privacy Concerns
Apps like Been Choice that install root certificates on users' phones have been removed from the App Store. Apple says it's working with developers to make privacy-safe modifications.
That did not last long. Apple has pulled ad-blocking apps like Been Choice that we wrote about earlier in the week over privacy concerns.
As other have said, it was curious that Apple allowed these kinds of apps to get into the App Store in the first place. IMore reported last night that apps that install root certificates and use a VPN to block ads in apps — including native ads on Pinterest and publisher links on Facebook — were removed from the store. The concern is that root certificates also give these apps access to the user’s private internet behavior, including secure transactions and communications by unpacking the data they collect from the apps users interact with.
Apple told iMore that it is working with these developers to get their apps back in the App Store, “while ensuring customer privacy and security is not at risk.”
Been Choice has said it is modifying its app to comply with Apple’s privacy and security requirements.
Been's Choice app was pulled from the App Store. We'll remove ad blocking for FB, Google, Yahoo, and Pinterest apps http://t.co/5tMWWMgSOK
— Been® Choice (@beenchoice) October 9, 2015
Here’s how to check if you have root certificates installed on your iPhone or iPad.
Apple’s move does not affect iOS 9 content blockers that only block ads and trackers in Safari such as Blockr, Purify and Crystal.