Apple dealt a punishing blow to Facebook which has left their offices in disarray.
After forcing Facebook to remove the VPN app that was paying teens for their browsing data, Apple has revoed certificates needed to install apps on Facebook employess iPhones. That has resulted in all internal Facebook apps from early builds of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp to utility apps like lunch menu, inter-office transport, etc. are not working.
The move is in response to allegations that Facebook has exploited a loophole in Apple’s approval system to bypass rules that prohibited collecting data about the apps installed on the iPhone.
In a statement to Guardian, Apple stated that they have reoved Facebook’s Enterprise Developer Certificate (EDC), which allowed Facebook to distribute internal apps within an organisation. Facebook used this EDC to distribute Facebook Research, a VPN app that collected data from users as young as 13 year old
All internal Facebook apps are broken
Revokation of the certificate for Enterprise Developer Program means every app built using EDC became unusable and wouldn’t even launch. Reportedly this included the test version of Facebook and Instagram that was being distributed to employees for beta-testing.
By limiting these apps, Facebook would be severely inhibited from being able to test new features in those apps that weren’t released to general public.
The revoking also disable the utility apps provided to Facebook employees, with reportedly apps used for shuttling between internal offices, information portal, and even cafeteria menu was down.
Apple, the good guy
Apple may be going through hard times, but that hasn’t stopped them from stepping up and stopping Facebook from doing something which probably not just immoral but also illegal, in the process doing the job that the government and regulators should have been doing.