Apple Took Down An Ad Blocker For Apps Over Privacy Concerns

Been Choice, which allegedly blocks advertising within iOS apps, has been flagged by Apple due to customer security issues.

Apple Took Down An Ad Blocker For Apps Over Privacy Concerns
[Photo: Flickr user Dominick]

A new, turbocharged ad blocker for iPhones has been removed from the App Store over security concerns–and it may signal just how far is too far when it comes to iOS ad blockers. Been Choice, which just launched this week and blocks advertising even in native apps like Apple News, was removed from circulation due to concerns that the app was tracking user traffic.

In a statement provided to industry blog iMore, Apple explained that it was taking precautions to protect customers:

Apple is deeply committed to protecting customer privacy and security. We’ve removed a few apps from the App Store that install root certificates which enable the monitoring of customer network data that can in turn be used to compromise SSL/TLS security solutions. We are working closely with these developers to quickly get their apps back on the App Store, while ensuring customer privacy and security is not at risk.

Been Choice raised controversy when it was first launched because it blocks ads in apps as well as on the web, which goes above and beyond the functionality of any other ad blocker offered on iOS devices. The app has raised privacy concerns because it also allows users to answer surveys in exchange for money and gift cards, if they so desire–an option through which it can gain more information about its user base.

On Twitter, Been Choice said it would update its product and resubmit it to Apple, in order to assuage the company’s concerns.

[via Financial Times]

About the author

Based in sunny Los Angeles, Neal Ungerleider covers science and technology for Fast Company. He also works as a consultant, writes books, and does other things.

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