Apple punishes Google over app rules

Kelley Robertson
February 4, 2019

Unlike Facebook that has tons of employees on iOS, Google at least employs plenty of users of its own Android platform, so the disruption may have caused fewer problems in Mountain View than Menlo park. Apple wants to wage war to counter the privacy practices of Facebook. The app comes with Apple's enterprise developer certificate granted to Google and has been distributed to a "panel" selected and maintained in partnership with the research firm GfK.

In both cases, losing their enterprise certificates seemingly affected only internal apps, and not consumer-facing ones.

Although most media coverage was focused on the Facebook app gathering user data, it looks that Apple was more annoyed by the fact that Facebook (and Google) has abused its enterprise developer certificates.

The world's biggest social network is in hot water over privacy rights yet again, with another controversy involving user data revealed this week.

"This is a market research program that helps us understand consumer behavior and trends to build better mobile products", Canahuati wrote.

Facebook may have just been caught spying on teens' phones under the guise of "market research", but the company isn't about to apologize for it.

Facebook Inc.'s app development was hobbled in a similar way for about 24 hours, a sign that Apple is wielding power as operator of the most-lucrative USA app store to push its approach to user privacy. When Facebook got kicked out of the Enterprise Developer Program, Apple noted that it had designed the program "solely for the internal distribution of apps within an organization", not to distribute data-collecting apps to consumers: what Apple called "a clear breach" of its licensing terms. The company notes in a statement that all users voluntarily signed up for the Research app, and were free to opt out at any time. You can update the Facebook app from the App Store right away.

FOLLOW on Twitter for all the latest app news. It is now punishing Google, too. This means that the app can now take full advantage of the larger screens, and show more content.

Apple did this because Google had released a research app called Screenwise Meter that monitored virtually everything the user does on their phone. To install the application, eligible users had to "sideload" it from a Facebook site and then install an enterprise developer certificate.

Apple adheres clearly to its rules and applies them equally to Facebook, Google and, probably, to many other companies that violate Apple's rules in the future.

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