Some of your favorite iOS apps are feeding your data to Facebook


Oh look, another Facebook controversy.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Deleting your Facebook account isn’t enough to stop some apps from sending deeply personal information about you to the social network.

The Wall Street Journal found a wide range of apps that send personal information to Facebook even if you don’t have an account. Health apps and real estate apps were discovered sending a lot of information to Facebook and the type of data might surprise you.

Apple pulls third-party SDKs from Shazam in latest update


Shazam on iPhone XS
The latest update is out now.
Photo: Apple

Apple has pulled all but one third-party SDK from Shazam in its latest update.

The move wipes out analytics firms, ad networks, open-source projects, and more — including Google AdMob, Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads, and DoubleClick. Only HockeyApp, a Microsoft platform for beta testing, is still available.

Instagram removes tool that let users see who’s ‘stalking’ them


It just got harder to tell who's Insta-stalking you.
Photo: Pixabay

The Instagram viewers list — a popular feature for keeping tabs on who’s stalking you on the photo-sharing service — quietly disappeared overnight.

The move infuriated some Instagram users after they lost the ability to see the full list of who viewed their Stories after 24 hours. Users also can no longer see who viewed their Highlights, causing some to take to Twitter in anger.

Apple restores functionality to Google and Facebook’s internal apps


Apple broke Facebook and Google's internal apps this week.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Having apparently proved its point, Apple has restored its access to enterprise certificates for both Facebook and Google, essentially un-breaking their internal apps.

In a statement to the New York Times‘ Mike Isaac, Facebook confirmed that Facebook is currently “in the process” of returning its internal apps to working order. Google, meanwhile, confirmed to Bloomberg that it was, “working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps.”

Apple breaks Google’s internal apps for privacy violations


A group called Google You Owe Us wants $1000 each after Google invaded their privacy
Apple is on a ban-spree!
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google’s internal apps have been completely disabled from running on iPhone’s and iPads today by Apple.

The move comes one day after Facebook’s internal apps suffered the same fate when Apple revoked the social network’s enterprise certificates that allowed them to install apps without going through the App Store. Without the certificates, Google is unable to test beta builds of its iOS apps.

Zuckerberg explains benefits of WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger merger


It won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger — but says it probably won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest.

In a fourth-quarter earnings call this week, Zuckerberg also explained the reasons behind the plan, such as increased security with end-to-end encryption. Many questions still remain unanswered, however.


The war between Apple and Facebook is heating up.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Facebook will remove iOS app that paid users to ‘spy’ on them


Facebook previously ran into problems with Apple for data collection.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Facebook will shut down the iOS version of its Research app after a TechCrunch report revealed how it was paying users aged 13-35 to install a VPN, allowing it to gather data on their phone and web activity.

This follows an incident last August in which Apple asked Facebook to remove its Onavo VPN from the App Store, since it was violating Apple’s data collection policies.

iPhone is tech reporter’s first line of defense against data vampires


iPhone data privacy
Data privacy comes with the price.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

The New York Times investigative reporter Nick Confessore has covered data privacy long enough to make the iPhone his smartphone of choice.

His take on data-hungry Android phones is damning enough to make anybody switch to an iPhone. He also offers other tips for keeping your data as safe as possible these days. Unfortunately, that’s not very safe at all, according to Confessore.