Apple Removes Apps That Block Ads In Apps Over Privacy Concerns

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 offered users the option to either block ads or to provide behavioral data to the app developers in exchange for small cash rewards. The app’s privacy policy stated that the company has taken “reasonable steps” to strip all personally identifiable information from the data it collected.

Been Choice has said it is modifying its app to comply with Apple’s privacy and security requirements.

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.


About The Author

Ginny Marvin
Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media's Associate Editor, assisting with the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.