Tech giant Apple offers enterprise certificates to large companies like Google and Facebook to distribute its apps internally, amongst the company’s employees that facilitate their jobs. One of the rules of this certificate dictates that these enterprises should not use it to distribute apps to customers.
After it emerged that Facebook was taking advance of an iOS enterprise program to collect data from users, Apple revoked the social network’s certificate. The iPhone maker did the same thing to Google when it found similar misconduct over a program.
The Verge reported this afternoon that Apple pulled Google’s enterprise certificate with development versions of the company’s apps now disabled. With the certification revoked, the iOS apps that are installed through this process will no longer open on iPhones and iPads.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Google said that it is working with Apple and expects these issues to be “resolved soon”. Apple is working with Google to help them reinstate their certificates as soon as possible. This is a complete opposite to Facebook’s reaction where the internal apps are still unavailable for the second day. It may be due to the fact that Google pays Apple a significant amount to be the default search engine across iOS and macOS.
— Sarah Frier (@sarahfrier) January 31, 2019
Now according to latest updates, Google has got access to internal iOS after its certificate was reinstated. While Facebook also did the same, Google’s downtime was much shorter. Google was running a service called Screenwise meter which collects user patterns and habits for research and development of new apps. The participants were instructed to install a certificate that will allow it to install iOS apps outside of the App Store.
However, it takes advantage of Apple’s developer enterprise program which was made with the aim of testing internal apps during the development process and to distribute tools for employees. Google later apologized for operating Screenwise Mater through the Apple’s developer enterprise program. Though it disabled the iOS service, it said in its defense that it was “upfront with users” about data collection and didn’t target teens like Facebook. Though these certifications issues should affect regular users, it may disrupt some development plans and future updates.
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