iOS

After Facebook’s shifty data collection, Apple disables its internal apps

Facebook employees who use iOS devices no longer have access to their internal-use applications after Apple revoked the company’s Enterprise Certificate.

Bloomberg reporter Sarah Frier confirmed with the company that the lock-out impacts transportation, product testing and other functions. That likely means no software updates to its iOS apps and loss of productivity for the time being.

Facebook’s publicly-available apps such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp remain available on the App Store.

TechCrunch reported on Facebook’s distribution of a VPN app called “Research” that was seeded to beta program recruitment sites like Applause and BetaBound. The app collected all device and internet traffic data including private messages and geolocation.

Where the social media company ruffled Apple’s feathers was that beta participants were made to circumvent the App Store by installing the Enterprise Certificate, a clearance intended for members of an organization to access apps for internal use only.

In 2017, Facebook shut down its public data-collecting VPN app, Onavo, when the App Store began requiring app publishers to post privacy policies within their products.

Facebook is negotiating with Apple to reinstate its certificate privileges. It does not expect to face consequences from Google, even as it maintains the Android version of its beta-distributed app.

This afternoon, the company reported operating income of $6.88 billion for the fourth quarter, about $1 billion above market forecasts. FB shares are up by more than 12 percent at press time on that news.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.