Near the end of January, Apple revoked the Developer Enterprise Certificate from both Facebook and Google.
According to Facebook, Apple is now restoring its access to the tool, which had been disabled on January 30. TechCrunch reported that Facebook paid teens and other users who agreed to download an app called Facebook Research. The app extensively tracks their phone and web use. Regarding this tool, Apple said that Facebook was abusing the Developer Enterprise Certificate to distribute the app on iPhones in a way that allowed the social network to sidestep Apple’s restrictions on data collection.
As a result, Apple revoked the certificate for the iOS software and closed off Facebook’s efforts to sidestep Apple’s app store and its tightened rules on privacy. While Facebook engineers could still write code and work on iPhone apps during the shutoff, their ability to test them in the field was limited.
In a statement, Facebook said that it is “in the process of getting our internal apps up and running.” The company also noted that shutdown of the developer tool had no impact on its consumer services.
Google also said on January 31 that Apple had revoked its enterprise certificate as well, blocking Google employees from testing new app features on iPhones. However, the company seemed confident it would quickly regain access. “We’re working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps, which we expect will be resolved soon,” the company said in a statement.
Google declined to cite reasons as to why it lost the certificate which came just one day after the company voluntarily withdrew market-research app called “Screenwise Meter” that had been distributed to consumers, although not to teens.
The main idea behind the revoking was to ensure compliance to the new and stringent data and privacy regulations, as well as to make sure that tech giants such as Facebook and Google do not misuse the iOS platform for self serving needs. Once Apple is convinced that their apps are safe and compliant for use, they will be restoring the certificate to the companies.