Apple restores functionality to Google and Facebook’s internal apps

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Apple broke Facebook and Google's internal apps this week.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Having apparently proved its point, Apple has restored its access to enterprise certificates for both Facebook and Google, essentially un-breaking their internal apps.

In a statement to the New York Times‘ Mike Isaac, Facebook confirmed that Facebook is currently “in the process” of returning its internal apps to working order. Google, meanwhile, confirmed to Bloomberg that it was, “working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps.”

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

Both incidents took place after Facebook and Google were found to be running “research” apps which collected data from users. This went against Apple’s rules. An internal memo put out by Facebook noted that:

“Apple’s view is that we violated their terms by sideloading this app, and they decide the rules for their platform, We’ve worked with Apple to address any issues; as a result, our internal apps are back up and running. Our relationship with Apple is really important — many of us use Apple products at work every day, and we rely on iOS for many of our employee apps, so we wouldn’t put that relationship at any risk intentionally.”

From that language, it seems that Facebook doesn’t necessarily admit to wrongdoing, but rather that it can see how in Apple’s “view” it was breaking the rules. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been outspoken about his opposition to companies whose business model is based on analyzing massive quantities of user data. He has even suggested that the U.S. adopt European-style data regulations for this reason.

As such, we expect that this is only an opening salvo on what could turn out to be a much broader disagreement between the tech giants. As this instance proves, however, Apple has a fair amount of leverage that it can exert.

Do you think Apple punished Facebook and Google in the right way in this instance? Were they guilty of wrongdoing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Via: Business Insider