Yesterday, Apple cut off Facebook's enterprise distribution certificate after the social media giant was caught abusing it to collect user data. Google was subsequently caught doing the same thing and questions rapidly arose as to whether or not Apple would cut off Google's certificate as well. Now, it appears as though Apple has.
An Apple spokesperson gave me the following statement:
UPDATE: Both Facebook and Google spokespeople have now confirmed they've gotten their certificates restores. Now, we'll have to wait and see if any lessons have been learned.
The Verge has the background:
This follows the revelation by TechCrunch that Google was also violating Apple's Enterprise Distribution program to collect information from iOS users, although in a way slightly less egregious than Facebook was caught doing just the day before.
The Facebook violation, in case anyone's lost track in this whiplash of a news week, was discovered by TechCrunch just the day before:
Apple then removed the certificate Facebook had been abusing. Apple's statement:
Now, it appears like Apple has done the same thing to Google's certificate.
Of course, this is getting headlined as "Apple is breaking Facebook and Google's internal apps", which to me is kinda all shades of counter-factual.
It was Facebook and Google's choice to tie these data harvesting apps to their main Enterprise distribution certificate. Apple didn't make them do that. They chose to do that and for reasons of their own choosing. (There's a theory being floated that Facebook, at least, did it intentionally on the hopes it would make Apple hesitant to take action, but it's just as likely they were dumb, lazy, or simply didn't consider it instead.)
The bottom line is, though, that if you're going to run a red light, don't do it in your work car. Because, if that work car gets impounded, and your ability to make deliveries suffers, it's nobody's fault but your own.
Now, all that remains to be seen is whether or not these are time outs or full on cut offs.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.