Apple punishes Google by revoking its ability to test apps


Today, the company handed out the same punishment to Google after learning the Screenwise Meter iOS app also violated Apple developer guidelines.

Late Thursday, Apple relented and restored Facebook's access. "Several employees in Facebook's hardware division said they were considering quitting because they could not get any work done".

Google and Facebook on Thursday confirmed to the media that Apple had reinstated their certificates, clearing them to use internal iOS apps once again. In addition, apps testing unreleased updates of Google products such as Gmail and Google Maps were unavailable, these people said.

The other day, Apple stopped Facebook's internal iOS apps from running on iOS devices.

Google appears confident it would quickly regain its access.

"We're working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps, which we expect will be resolved soon", Google said in the statement. That app also relied on the Apple enterprise program and Facebook subsequently lost its certificate. Without this option, some of the companies' most important development work is disrupted. The company noted that the issue had no impact on its consumer services. In response, Apple has reportedly revoked the enterprise certificates that allowed Google to skirt the rules.

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Facebook revealing they've been using an app, called "Facebook Research", to track the behavior of its users, many teenagers. Like Facebook did with its "Research" app, the Screenwise Meter app was distributed using Apple's enterprise certificate; the certificate is supposed to be used for employee apps only.

"Apple's view is that we violated their terms by sideloading this app", Canahuati stated.

After news broke that Apple had revoked Facebook's enterprise certificate over its non-compliant Facebook Research app, Google shut down its similar research app, Screenwise Meter. Facebook is finding out the hard way. The search engine also recruited participants on its own, clearly as a Google program.

But Facebook had no comeback for sidestepping Apple's rules. Both companies misused their developer certification, which is supposed to be for internal-only apps for employees, to make consumer-accessible ones that collected user data. This week, a bug was discovered in its FaceTime app, whereby people could spy on the video and audio FaceTime calls of other users.

It's the latest string of privacy scandals to plague the social networking behemoth in recent months, including revelations in 2018 that a United Kingdom consulting firm improperly used data on millions of Facebook users for election ads during the 2016 presidential contest.