In-app ad-blockers on iOS, and why a no-go for Apple (for the biggest part)

iOS9-iphone

There are two sides for each and every coin. Also ad-blocking allowance on iOS has its boundaries, on very good reasons (below) because of safety (and perhaps finances).

With iOS 9 there came the relief: ad-blockers are home and welcome to be developed for Safari, for users’ convenience. Many have been cheerful about the news, some others maybe less, I surely welcomed.

Then little later in-app ad-blockers came, have been allowed to AppStore, then…pulled off again from.

But why?!

It seems, those apps, like BeenChoice, mean serious security risk, are in violation with security measures and policies of Apple (and iOS): Apple pulled Been Choice and a few apps like it, because the method used for in-app ad-blocking installs root certificates that collect your website visits and deliver that information to the ad-blocker. The app worked by installing a VPN profile on your phone that then routed your web traffic through Been Choice’s servers. The company performed deep packet inspection on the content to weed out ads. Apple considers this a security violation.

“Apple is deeply committed to protecting customer privacy and security. 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.” – says Apple’s statement about the case

Safari ad-blocking apps can’t do that, which is why they haven’t been affected.

Of course there is then the other part of the coin: finances.

In-app ad-blocking could hurt many big names’, even Apple’s (Apple News app), revenue streams coming from iAds within free applications. This is just my thought, but I think a very viable option to think to. I believe (and hope) most of us really don’t mind if in many great quality free news or game applications sometimes an ad is presented in order to guarantee support, further development of the best apps.

If ad-blockers block certain sites’ extremely annoying whole page, near to impossible to close ads we all can call it a day and be happy. Those who give value, quality for our tablets and phones on a fair, much less obtrusive way, we should allow them to earn their cents in exchange for their sweet future updates and new apps.

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