Apple Bans Facebook from Running Internal iOS Apps after Misuse of Data

Even though Facebook is closing down the iOS version of its arguably research app, Apple isn’t taking any chance. The company is closing down Facebook’s capability to distribute internal iOS apps.
According to sources, Apple is canceling the enterprise certificates Facebook had been using in order to distribute the software outside the App Store. According to a spokesperson, the social network’s usage of business certificates to disperse apps to non-employees was a clear violation of the agreement with Apple. Although the pay-for-user data was the main culprit, the resolution appears to have larger consequences for Facebook.
The closedown comes in response to an allegation that Facebook has been making use of Apple’s program for internal app distribution to trace teenage customers’ activity with a “research” app. The research app was distributed outside of the App store by making use of Apple’s enterprise program. The program allows developers to use special certificates in order to install more powerful apps to iPhones. Even though the apps were initially meant for the employees of the company but Facebook distributed it’s tracking app to customers also. Later on, Facebook stated that it is going to close down the app.
Apple stated that any developer who violates the agreement will have the distribution certificates canceled. Canceling a certificate not only prevents apps from being distributed on iOS, but it would prevent apps from working. As internal apps from the same organization or developer might be connected to a single certificate, it can lead to massive headaches like the one Facebook now finds itself in where a profusion of internal apps has been closed down.
Facebook has already guarded the research program even though it has decided to close it down. It contended that the app wasn’t a secret as it showed its name when users used to sign it. Moreover, it belittled the discovery that some users of this app were teens. It has been also mentioned that many teenagers had taken the signature of parents on the parental consent form.

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