Just when we thought we had seen the end of in-app advertising, Apple wipes the iStore clear of a host of applications that it deems unsafe and insecure. Been Choice was an in-app blocker that was capable of blocking even Apple’s own ads from within their news feed. Apple blocks Been Choice from the app store as a result of carrying out practices that enabled them to view encrypted traffic. Due to the way that Been Choice routes traffic, Apple was quick to pick up on the fact that the data being transported was also being diverted to an ad-removal server, which in turn left it vulnerable. Apple is not going to let your sensitive data lay around to fall into the wrong hands.
Root Certificates Cause Insecure Traffic
Whilst the motives for this function of the Been Choice app are most likely free from malicious intent, the installing of “root certificates”, as was the case with their app, allows for the viewing of data on a packet to packet level, bypassing any encryption used. Apple holds a sincere commitment to protecting customers’ security online, always looking out for the privacy of their consumers. In this particular case however there was also reference to the damage that in-app ad-blocking will create to steady revenue streams across the world. Safari in-browser ad-blockers were unaffected by the app store clean-up.
Been Choice Back to the Drawing-Board
Been Choice responded on Friday 9th 2015, stating that they would resubmit their application once adapting it remedy complaints from Apple. They are confident that it will meet fully compliance, stating in a Tweet “We will remove ad-blocking for Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Yahoo Finance and Pinterest and resubmit tomorrow to comply”. Apple may have blocked Been Choice for now and details are unclear over the level of ad-blocking functionality that will be provided by Been Choice when it returns, but the trending ad-blocker is definitely not gone for good.