Apple Takes Away Key License From Facebook After Massive Policy Violation


Apple and Facebook have had an increasingly contentious relationship - this isn't the first time Facebook used the App Store in violation of policies.

With its certificate revoked, Facebook employees are reporting that their legitimate internal apps, also signed by the cert, have stopped working.

"It wasn't 'spying" as all of the people who signed up to participate went through a clear on-boarding process asking for their permission and were paid to participate.

For underage users, Applause requires parental permission, and Facebook is mentioned in the consent agreement.

Facebook attempted to downplay the app's discovery by arguing that it was never truly secret in a statement to TechCrunch.

Yesterday, Apple revoked Facebook's iOS enterprise app certificate for violating its Terms of Service, and today, Apple is giving the same treatment to Google.

"The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple's developer enterprise program - this was a mistake, and we apologise", it said in a statement to TechCrunch.

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As the war between Facebook and Apple heats up, Facebook employees are getting stuck in the middle.

Facebook also denied that Facebook Research was created to replace the previous Onavo app. By agreeing to have data collected on the apps on their devices as well as their web history, users were given digital gift cards worth $20.

Some lawmakers sharply rebuked Facebook on Wednesday in response to the reports about its data-tracking app. "Wiretapping teens is not research, and it should never be permissible", Democratic Sen. According to a report from The Verge, Apple has shut down Google's internal iOS apps for doing the exact same thing Facebook was doing-distributing enterprise apps outside of the company.

But it also raises serious questions about how Facebook continues to approach and value sensitive user data, as the company attempts to recover from successive privacy scandals throughout 2018 and other, broader crises. For its part, Apple said that the app had been blocked before Facebook said that it had pulled it. These programs reward participants if they agree to install trackers on their phones, PC browser, router, and television.

As per its App Store guidelines, collecting information from other apps installed on a user's a device is something that is a clear no-no with Apple, and one can expect that Apple is set to butt heads with Facebook again.

For Apple users concerned with what this could mean for their use of the app, the site will still be available the App store and Facebook will still be able to publish various apps as well. This program allows companies such as Facebook to test and distribute apps for their own employees to use, not the general public or consumers. Mark Warner, D-Va., wrote in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "This is yet another astonishing example of Facebook's complete disregard for data privacy and eagerness to engage in anti-competitive behavior".

TechCrunch suggested that the app violated Apple's Enterprise Certificate policy, which places tight restrictions on accessing sensitive user data.