Apple has purposely broken Google’s internal iOS apps for improper use and privacy concerns, reportedly affecting its pre-release beta and employee-only apps software.
Revoking Google’s enterprise certificate comes one day after Apple did the same to Facebook. Both companies misused their developer certification, which is supposed to be for internal-only apps for employees, to make consumer-accessible ones that collected user data. That’s a no-no, according to Apple’s rules.
But it wasn’t specifically the user data collection that sparked Apple’s ire. Instead, it was using the certification – which should only be used to create employee apps – to quietly make a consumer-accessible app, which circumvents Apple’s standard review process.
Google voluntarily shuttered its own app in question, Screenwise Meter, yesterday after press attention and publicly apologized. Like Facebook’s app, Screenwise monitored how folks used their iPhones.
And while it seems like Google’s app had less access than Facebook’s, it still broke Apple’s policy regarding its enterprise certificate: “Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked.”
Google did something similar to Facebook — scanning users’ app activity on iPhones for competitive research — but they didn’t have as deep an access as Facebook did. Still, it violated Apple’s rules for an enterprise certificate.January 31, 2019
Apple’s move today to revoke Google’s certificate has blocked its use of early versions of Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail and other pre-release beta apps, according to The Verge.
A serious, but likely temporary block
Considering how important testing apps is to both Facebook and now Google, it’s likely the companies are rushing to fix their strained relationship with Apple – not to mention access to their iOS testing systems.
Facebook seems to have already negotiated to restore their certificate and reactivate their internal app library.
Facebook spokeswoman: “I can confirm that we have our enterprise certificate restored and we are working on getting our internal apps back up and running.”January 31, 2019