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Apple bans Facebook from running internal iOS apps after data misuse

Photo: AFP

Facebook may have shut down the iOS version of its controversial research app but that doesn’t mean Apple is happy with it. Apple has revoked the enterprise certificates Facebook had been using to distribute the software outside of the App Store.

The social network’s use of business certificates to distribute apps to non-employees was a “clear breach” of its agreement with Apple, a spokesperson said. However, while the pay-for-user-data app was the main offender, the decision appears to have had broader consequences for Facebook — numerous internal tools might not work, reported Engadget. 

Related: Facebook is paying teens to install an app that could collect data from their phones

A source told The Verge  that development versions of key Facebook iOS apps (including Messenger and Instagram) stopped working after Apple pulled the certificates. It also broke internal-use-only apps like ones for a food menu and transportation. This has reportedly become a “critical” issue, since the apps are flat-out broken.

Facebook has already defended the research program in spite of deciding to shut it down. It argued that the app wasn’t secret given its obvious name and clear messaging when you signed up. It also downplayed the discovery that some users were teens, noting that “less than 5%” were teenagers and that all of them reportedly signed parental consent forms. It didn’t, however, explain why it was using enterprise certificates to provide apps outside of Facebook.

 

 


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