Tech

First Facebook, now Google’s internal iOS apps are blocked by Apple

First Facebook, now Google’s internal iOS apps are blocked by Apple

Unlike Facebook that has tons of employees on iOS, Google at least employs plenty of users of its own Android platform, so the disruption may have caused fewer problems in Mountain View than Menlo park.

On the Screenwise Meter Play Store listing, for example, Google clearly states that data is collected for market research purposes and provides a link to its research panel membership page (you need to be on the panel to download the app). As a result of being discovered, Google has also pulled the app from the iOS App Store, disabling it entirely.

In both cases, losing their enterprise certificates seemingly affected only internal apps, and not consumer-facing ones.

The Cupertino tech giant accuses the social-network giant of breaking their core rules.

29 January 2019: 7 hours after Constine's article was published, Facebook tells TechCrunch that it would shut down Facebook Research for iOS. Apple is being a bit of a control freak here, and we've certainly reported on numerous instances where the company comes down hard on innocent developers for no good reason.

More news: Donald Trump says Nancy Pelosi is 'playing games' with wall funding

Apple eventually restored Facebook's access to its Enterprise Developer Certificate program on Thursday afternoon.

While both research programs let the internet giants track activity, Facebook's was more invasive because the company could see much more traffic from users' phones. As for misuse of the certificate, The Verge reports that Google and Facebook arent the only ones distributing beta apps to consumers. This allowed them to get very deep access into those users' phones so they could monitor what they did on their handsets in close detail.

Apple's actions may burnish the reputation for privacy it takes pains to cultivate among consumers, but the moves are risky, too. During a speech in Brussels in October, Cook stopped just short of naming Facebook and Google in his comments blasting data collection firms and claiming personal information has been "weaponized against us with military efficiency". It makes a move to the Developer Enterprise Program which is permitting the organization that Apple approves. Facebook was going to pay around $20 each month to install one of the important research apps.

Google voluntarily shuttered its own app in question, Screenwise Meter, yesterday after press attention and publicly apologized. There's also nothing on Apple's System Status page to suggest that anything is wrong with the App Store, and Apple hasn't said anything, but based on the fact that half a dozen new tweets have popped up in the last five minutes, there's definitely an issue.