Facebook says Apple is restoring a key developer tool

Apple punishes Google for data collection app

Apple punishes Google for data collection app

Cupertino is in the process of restoring the digital certificates used by Facebook and Google to sign and distribute in-house iOS apps internally to employees, after revoking them within the past 24 hours.

"We have had our Enterprise Certification, which enables our internal employee applications, restored", Facebook said in a statement.

"The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple's developer enterprise program - this was a mistake, and we apologize". A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement that the shut down didn't affect their consumer-facing services. Apple revoked but later restored Google's Enterprise Certificate so its internal apps are functioning again.

Apple did not reply immediately to a request for comment. These include early beta versions of popular Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, etc., as well as apps designed specifically for Googlers such as the Gbus app and an app for the various cafés on Google campuses.

The immediate result of this was the revoking of enterprise certificates which also crippled its employee-only apps.

Developers of iOS apps have no way to distribute unvetted apps apart from releasing app code as open source so other iOS developers can build and install such projects on their own gear.

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Google says its Screenwise Meter app in Apple's enterprise program should never have been there. As for misuse of the certificate, The Verge reports that Google and Facebook arent the only ones distributing beta apps to consumers. This app is completely voluntary and always has been.

This situation is very similar to recent news about a Facebook app geared towards teens which paid them $20 to track almost everything they do on their iOS devices.

Both news outlets reported some Facebook employees blamed Apple for the snafu and thought of the suspension as an act of retaliation in the companies' ongoing feud. That's a big deal since Facebook publishes tools and future products to its own team to test before providing them to the public, said Marty Puranik, CEO and founder of cloud hosting company Atlantic.Net. And, unlike Facebook - which stripped its name off Research VPN following the similarly snoopy Onavo VPN getting pushed out of the App Store - Google's clear about its involvement. Tech blog TechCrunch reported this week that the social media platform Facebook paid about United States dollars 20 a month to teens and other users who agreed to download the Facebook Research app. It is now punishing Google, too. Would that have happened-ever-for a smaller company?

The move led some to note that Apple had suddenly become the U.S.'s most effective privacy regulator, but it didn't last long.

In a statement to the New York Times' Mike Isaac, Facebook confirmed that Facebook is now "in the process" of returning its internal apps to working order.

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