Apple breaks Google’s internal apps for privacy violations

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A group called Google You Owe Us wants $1000 each after Google invaded their privacy
Apple is on a ban-spree!
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google’s internal apps have been completely disabled from running on iPhone’s and iPads today by Apple.

The move comes one day after Facebook’s internal apps suffered the same fate when Apple revoked the social network’s enterprise certificates that allowed them to install apps without going through the App Store. Without the certificates, Google is unable to test beta builds of its iOS apps.

Apple pulled Google and Facebook’s certificates because both companies were found to be distributing shady apps that gathered all of users’ data. Both apps violated Apple’s new privacy policies that were updated last summer.

The Verge reports that early versions of Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail and other pre-release beta apps have stop working. Internal employee-only apps have also no longer work.

Google released a statement this afternoon saying it is “working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps, which we expect will be resolved soon.”

Apple’s biggest issue with Facebook and Google’s data-gathering apps is that they used enterprise certificates for distribution. Those certificates are only to be used on apps that stay within an organization. Both companies had non-employees install their apps to glean more data about customers. Facebook paid teenagers up to $20 per month to use its app in exchange for all their data.

It’s unclear when Apple will reinstate both company’s certificates. Not having those certs puts up a sudden roadblock on internal product development. Apple hasn’t pulled any of Facebook or Google’s apps from the App Store but some analysts have speculated it’s a possibility that Apple could revoke their developer credentials for a period.