App "Shutdown" – Apple blocked Facebook – will it soon be Google?
Apple punishes Facebook by eliminating an important program for software developers. And Google also threatened a possible failure because it was under the control of the iPhone app.
Apple has taken radical steps to discover Facebook controversial research app. Facebook Group can no longer distribute internal iOS apps to employees or other individuals, Apple has blocked relevant digital certificates. It was reported by The Verge on Wednesday.
To avoid misunderstandings, "Exclusion" does not affect apps available on the App Store. but:
An unnamed source, familiar with the situation, told the US technology blog that release versions of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and other applications were no longer working.
Affected are applications that Facebook employees use only within the company, such as transportation or catering to staff canteens.
Facebook considered it internally a "critical problem" because the affected apps no longer work on employee devices (iPhone, iPad, and Mac).
Is Google also a trick?
It seems Facebook is not the only company to abuse Apple's system, Tech Crunch said on Wednesday night. Google has also transferred App App to Controllers for non-business user devices.
Google allows the iPhone app, called Screenwise meter which is very similar to the Facebook research app. So with an application that has been blocked by Apple ever since.
Initially, Screenwise was available to users 13 and older, like the Facebook research app. Meanwhile, Google must be the main user 18, but minor family members can participate.
Like Facebook, Google also attracts volunteers with financial incentives. To monitor and evaluate traffic, you need to install the VPN app. As a reward for participating in an online market research program, voucher cards were marked.
While Google is more transparent than Facebook regarding the performance of the data collection app, it still violates Apple's policy under the Tech Crunch.
Apple's representative stated earlier that the company would not tolerate any violations.
"We are developing our Enterprise Developer program to internally split the application into an organization. Facebook has used its membership to disseminate a data collection application that is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple." What we do in this case to protect our users and their data .
What was the trigger?
Tech Crunch announced Wednesday night that Facebook was Developer Business Program Apple used to install a "research" app for teenage iPhone.
For a monthly fee of $ 20, teenagers allowed the group to provide comprehensive access to installing the VPN app. The research app was able to submit all online activity to Facebook, including chat services, photos sent, addresses and location of websites visited. And Amazon purchases also reveal items.
The iOS app used for tracking violates the privacy guidelines that amplified Apple 2018.
How are apps distributed outside the app store?
an Apple Developer Business Program It is designed for organizations and third-party developers to make applications available to a limited group of users outside the application store. These so-called "enterprise applications" are for internal use only, for testing purposes, such as beta testing.
"Apple does not review or approve these apps, as is the case in the App Store, because they can only be downloaded by employees who work with the app developer."
Because Facebook did not comply with this rule, Apple withdrew digital certificates that allow such applications to run on iOS devices.
«Certificate revocation not only prevents apps from being distributed to iOS, but also makes apps work. And because internal applications from one company or developer can be linked to a single certificate, this can lead to huge headaches that Facebook has today, where a large number of internal applications are closed. "
There was already tension between Facebook and Apple in 2018. Apple CEO Tim Koks criticized Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg publicly after learning about the data scandal associated with Cambridge Analytica. This requires a regulatory framework for Facebook.
How does Facebook react?
Facebook was originally in announcements that sounded like a voluntarily disable of the disputed iPhone app. For Android devices, you want to continue using the app.
So far, the Group has not indicated whether it has violated the Apple Developer Enterprise Program Terms. On the other hand, it is emphasized that market research with adolescents has been in place since 2016 and in the right context. Minors would have participated only with parental consent.
The US media Recode recalls that Facebook relies on Apple to deliver its apps (Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.) to iPhone users around the world.
Apple will most likely not delete Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp from the App Store, writes Recode. But it will be interesting to see if Apple is trying to punish Facebook in another way.
It could soon be covered by Google and its equally popular iOS apps.
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Video: watson / Emily Engkent, Corsin Manser
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