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Apple Blocks Google's Internal iOS Apps For Breaking Rules

03 February, 2019, 21:26 | Author: Vicki Mclaughlin
  • Apple punishes Google for data collection app

A spokesman for Apple, Tom Neumayr, said it was working with Google to reinstate access "very quickly". They had been revoked the day before after revelations concerning the Facebook Research App, which collected data from users as young as 13.

The brief ban is said to have been disruptive for both Facebook and Google, disabling internal apps used by employees and preventing builds of internal apps that all relied on the now-revoked signing certificates. Apple expressly forbids such uses of enterprise certificates; they're created to allow companies to develop and distribute apps purely for internal use or limited beta testing.

Naturally, Apple revoked Facebook's and Google's certificates once the news hit, despite the latter taking preemptive action by taking down its offending app.

But it wasn't specifically the user data collection that sparked Apple's ire. The change is clearly aimed at Onavo Protect and similar apps.

Facebook had its Apple enterprise certificates restored Thursday. Strafach's analysis of the app revealed that it could collect "private messages in social media apps, chats from in instant messaging apps-including photos/videos sent to others, emails, web searches, web browsing activity, and even ongoing location information". The enterprise program allows companies to digitally sign their own custom iOS and macOS apps, and hand them to employees for internal use and development. The Google application took advantage of Apple's business program, which allows the distribution of internal applications within a company.

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

Citing a person familiar with the situation, The Verge's Tom Warren reports that pre-release versions of Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail, and other pre-release beta apps stopped working Thursday. This breach violation made Apple shut down all of Facebook's internal iOS apps.

So we usually bring these apps to you so that you can get it at a huge discount rate!

Facebook's app, known as Research, gave the social network access to all the data flowing from the device it was installed on.

Most users got $20 monthly gift cards from Facebook in exchange for using the app, and some were also given paid referral fees. 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.

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