broke the story and Apple issued a ban, though the social media company claimed it had removed the app voluntarily.
Rep. Johnson began his line of questioning by asking Zuckerberg if Facebook was kicked out of the App Store once Apple had learned that the social media giant was using Onavo to conduct surveillance on users. While this was the case, Zuckerberg said that the company “took the app out after Apple changed their policies on VPN apps”.
Apple did not change its policy on VPN apps but rather on businesses misusing its Enterprise Certificate program which is meant for internal company apps only. Facebook distributed its Research app to users as if they were employees receiving an app from the company. In response, Apple revoked all of the social network's certificates and broke Facebook's own apps in the process.
When asked if Facebook had paid teenagers to sell their privacy by installing the Facebook Research app, Zuckerberg once again said he was unfamiliar with app despite the fact that he most likely wasn't. Zuckerberg went on to say that businesses use surveys and data to better understand how people are using their products and while true, this wasn't the case with its VPN app. Facebook's CEO may have skirted Rep. Johnson's questions, but he later backpedaled, saying:
“In response to Congressman Johnson’s question, before I said that I wasn’t familiar with the Facebook Research app when I wasn’t familiar with that name for it. I just want to be clear that I do recall we used an app for research and it’s since been discontinued.”
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