Apple issued a brief statement to press explaining that it was working with both Google and Apple to reinstate their enterprise certificates, presumably on the understanding that neither company would continue to use them to distribute public applications. While Apple has called this a violation of their Store policies, the truth is of course that this was the only way 3rd parties had to access iPhones at a more than a superficial level, a outcome of Apple's closed platform. And Apple has made changes to some of its tech features that limit the ability of Facebook and others to track users.
While Apple's action can be appreciated from a privacy and safety perspective, it also underscores the exceptional power the company holds over its hardware and software ecosystem. Without this option, some of the companies' most important development work is disrupted. A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement that the shut down didn't affect their consumer-facing services. In response, Apple has reportedly revoked the enterprise certificates that allowed Google to skirt the rules.
Apple offers enterprise certificates to large companies like Google and Facebook for the objective of distributing apps internally, amongst the companys employees that facilitate their jobs. Asked about it, Google said it had disabled the app on Apple devices and apologised for its "mistake".
Similarly, Apple did not respond to Ars' request for comment.
The news was reported by The Verge, citing "a person familiar with the situation", and follows reports that Google used its "Screenwise Meter" iOS app as part of a market research program to monitor iPhone device usage. Onavo's findings helped Facebook executives predict which apps were rising and trending across App Stores.
She added that fewer than 5 percent of users in the research program were teenagers and that all had obtained signed parental consent forms.
Smaller developers have to play by Apple's strict rules, so it's encouraging to see the same ones applied to tech giants, he said. The iPhone maker yesterday had yanked the certificates from both companies for misusing them to distribute data-gathering iOS apps to the public. This week, a bug was discovered in its FaceTime app, whereby people could spy on the video and audio FaceTime calls of other users. And Facebook would have to rethink some things entirely, given the fact that with Instagram's mobile web experience, for example, you can't upload new posts through it.