Apple has pulled the Been Choice ad blocker from the App Store as of Thursday night, developer David Yoon told Mashable.
According to Yoon, Apple told the developers that unpacking the data stream necessary to remove ads from certain companies’ apps — Facebook, Google, Pinterest and Yahoo — is a breach of terms.
“No other data from any other app was touched,” Yoon said in an email. “We were explicit in our app and our website, and in our presentations to the press about what we were doing, and for what purpose, with what special safeguards.”
When they asked Apple whether blocking ads in its News app was acceptable, Yoon said the company did not give them a firm reply.
They plan to re-submit an amended version of the app on Friday morning with all of the same features besides ad blocking within apps from those four companies.
According to Apple, “a few” apps were removed because they installed their own root certificates, which raised security concerns. But the company says it’s “working closely with these developers to quickly get their app back.”
“Apple is deeply committed to protecting customer privacy and security,” the company said in a statement Thursday night. “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.”
For all the teeth-gnashing over Apple’s mobile ad blocking, ads have still enjoyed a safe haven within individual iOS9 apps — that is, until now.
A powerful new ad blocker that hit the hit the App Store last week called Been Choice has invaded that last refuge of commercial promotion: It lets users not only shut out ads in the Safari browser but also within mobile apps like Facebook, Pandora and even Apple’s own News app.
The free app filters users’ Internet traffic through a VPN, or virtual private network, with a tool that searches out patterns typically associated with ads or trackers.