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MetaCert steps out from behind its porn-blocking browsers with mobile security API



The last time I wrote about MetaCert, the company was fooling around with social media tools and working on its iPad browser, which blocked access to pornography. Now it’s putting all the data it collected through those tools to another use.

MetaCert is now peddling an API developers can use to improve the security of their mobile applications or stop pornographic content from ever appearing in them. The company wants to make sure mobile apps — especially those which allow consumers to view Web content — can offer as many protections as their desktop counterparts.

To ensure that developers know its services are available, MetaCert has partnered with AppMakr, a development tool that allows people to make apps even if they don’t know how to code. It also plans to work with similar services in the future.

It works something like this. AppMakr users are presented with two buttons: one that allows them to use MetaCert’s security API, and one that allows them to block pornographic content inside their apps. AppMakr and MetaCert split the revenues from these developers, who are charged by the number of API calls their apps make.

MetaCert chief executive Paul Walsh says this was always the company’s revenue plan. Its browsers were just proof that the data it collected would really allow someone to make products children could use without being exposed to porn.

Now MetaCert wants to shed the “porn-blocking browser-maker” image and focus more on being a mobile security company both developers and consumers can trust.

“We want to be something like the VeriSign for mobile apps,” he says, referencing the company whose logo assures consumers they’re visiting a secure website. His hope is that people will grow to trust apps that use MetaCert’s API in the same way.

[illustration by Brad Jonas]