Apple reportedly unblocks Google’s internal apps on iOS devices

Facebook logo is seen on an android mobile phone

Today, it turns out that Apple has also blocked Google's internal iOS apps. In doing so, Apple closed off Facebook's efforts to sidestep Apple's app store and its tighter rules on privacy. "Several employees in Facebook's hardware division said they were considering quitting because they could not get any work done".

Facebook was found to be using Apple's program for internal app distribution to track teenage users with a research app.

Apple temporarily prevented Google from running its internal apps for employees on iPhones and iPads this week - a move similar to the one it took against Facebook.

Thus far, Apple has not indicated whether it will be ramping up its policing of companies' use of enterprise certificates as a result of Facebook and Google's actions.

Apple has in the past revoked enterprise developer certificates from rogue developers who'd used them to distribute malicious iOS apps outside Apple's walled-garden. "To be clear, this didn't have an impact on our consumer-facing services", a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Business Insider obtained a leaked memo from Facebook executive Pedro Canahuati, which offers more detail on Apple's power over the social media giant.

Apple has restored Google's access to its iOS apps, according to Bloomberg's Mark Bergen.

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Apple didn't return a request for comment on the restoration of the Enterprise Certificate.

That bit aside, though, this app does appear to violate Apple's policies in the same way that Facebook Research's VPN iOS app did. Facebook is finding out the hard way. Facebook was paying $20 a month to people between the ages of 13 and 35 in exchange for their phone and web activity.

Canahuati explained in his memo to employees that Apple had revoked Facbeook's Enterprise Certificate which allowed the company to distribute apps internally outside of its App Store; Apple restored Facebook's Enterprise Certificate on Thursday, but the company now has to rebuild "a few dozen" apps that employees rely on. That's a no-no, according to Apple's rules.

Google declined to say why it lost the certificate, but came a day after the company voluntarily withdrew market-research app called "Screenwise Meter" that had been distributed to consumers, although not to teens.

Apple is dealing with its own privacy crisis after a bug let people to eavesdrop on each other over the company's FaceTime video chat service.

In an earlier statement, Facebook had been keen to shut down reports that the company had been accused of "spying" on teenagers through the use of the application in question.

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