Apple revokes Facebook’s distribution certificates and breaks internal apps

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Are you fed up with learning about another privacy scandal at Facebook? Apple sure is as the firm has seemingly revoked Facebook’s internal distribution certificate for iOS.

This has lead to a number of apps used internally by Facebook to stop working. The apps include early builds of Facebook, Instagram and Messenger which now refuse to launch.

So what sparked this? Speaking frankly for a moment, Facebook’s failure to follow the rules.

This week it was revealed that Facebook had bypassed the Apple App Store to distribute an app which allowed teens to sell their privacy so that Facebook could get an inside look at its market and where it is moving. The trouble is that by doing this Facebook violated Apple’s policy for internal app distribution.

Our Robin-Leigh Chetty wrote, “The app in question is called Facebook Research and it gives the firm root access to network traffic, allowing them to decrypt and analyse data on their device. It appears as if this was specifically targeted to iOS device users, and if true could be a serious violation of Apple’s app policy.”

And a serious violation it was as Apple wasted no time in revoking Facebook’s certificates.

An Apple PR representative told Recode, “We designed our Enterprise Developer Program solely for the internal distribution of apps within an organization. Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple. Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked, which is what we did in this case to protect our users and their data.”

Facebook now needs to find a new way to test its internal apps but perhaps it needs to look at a new way to conduct market research that doesn’t violate the policies of other companies or user privacy.

Hey, we can dream okay.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.