Apple blocks Google’s internal apps on iOS devices

Facebook logo is seen on an android mobile phone

The move came a day after Apple imposed similar restrictions on Facebook.

Google appears confident it would quickly regain its access.

Facebook purchases the Israeli firm Onavo, a mobile analytics company.

Both Google and Facebook were identified as companies doing this and while Facebooks certificate was revoked yesterday (and has very recently been reinstated), Apple pulled the rug under Google today when it did the same thing.

Apple has apparently revoked certificates for Google's internal iOS apps (not its consumer apps).

However, what drove Facebook to distribute "Facebook Research", the app in question through unorthodox channels, looks to be that Apple has banned apps to gather user data as detailed as app history, private messages, and location, from being listed in the App Store. See "Beware "Protect" In Facebook's iOS App" (14 February 2018). Apple has previously launched educational privacy measures - user alerts within Safari about data tracking or Time Spent measures on iPhones, for example. The app relied on Apple's enterprise program, which enables the distribution of internal apps within a company.

"Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple", Tammy Levine, an Apple spokeswoman, said at the time.

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In both cases, losing their enterprise certificates seemingly affected only internal apps, and not consumer-facing ones. This VPN app offers iOS and Android users gift cards in return for giving up certain data.

While Google disabled the Screenwise Meter's iOS app, the Android version is still available on the Google Play Store, indicating that the market research program is still active. This app is completely voluntary and always has been.

Facebook also said that fewer than five percent of users who participated in the market research program were teens.

What should we take away from this brouhaha? Facebook paid users, including teenagers, $20 monthly to install the app, explains TechCrunch. Apple's policy says the certificate should be used only for internal apps and app testing.

Canahuati isn't the first Facebook executive to defend the company's practices. Despite early reports, there was nothing "secret" about this; it was literally called the Facebook Research App.

Many users don't value privacy highly.

In an interview Wednesday, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, said of the dispute with Apple, "Obviously we want to be in full compliance with all of our partners". However, they had little expectation of privacy anyway, so they were willing to sell their data for a little money. It is now punishing Google, too. While Facebook is the world's biggest social network, Apple controls the distribution of apps - including Facebook's - on its phones.

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