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Apple Restores Google and Facebook Corporate Certificates, Ending the Controversy

An end to the controversy of the last few days. Apple has just restored the corporate certificates of Google and Facebook internal apps . In recent days, first Facebook and then Google, saw these certificates withdrawn due to misuse. Now, both companies can reopen their internal apps and deploy them among their employees following the rules established by Apple.

Prohibited distribution of corporate apps to consumers

This is how our colleague Julius Caesar defined this type of app a few days ago. They are apps that do not have to go through the normal process of approval from the App Store to be used on an iOS device because it is understood that their use is corporate. They are apps that are not available to the public because they are intended for employees and internal processes. They are downloaded via the web after individual approval of a certificate on the device by the user.

Apple Restores Google and Facebook Corporate Certificates, Ending the Controversy
Apple Restores Google and Facebook Corporate Certificates, Ending the Controversy

AppleApple removes corporate certificate from Facebook in a new privacy violation

This way, its iteration is faster as it does not have to go through the App Store process. In addition, they allow much deeper access to the device to control its use (precisely the reason why they did so). Facebook and Google used them for internal betas and apps as one that allowed to see the company bus schedule. The problem has arisen because both companies have been using these certificates to distribute apps to consumers , bypassing the entire App Store process.

Facebook and Google used these certificates to collect a myriad of data from users who installed these apps

As a result, Apple cancelled the permission for both companies to distribute this type of apps. In the case of Google, it was yesterday afternoon. Well, now from AppleInsider we see that the revocation has been lifted to Facebook:

And Techcrunch indicates a similar ending for Google:

Both companies can now continue to use their internal apps distributed among their employees in the normal way, as long as they comply with the rules set out in the program.

The rules are for everyone

When our colleague Ericka Duarte told yesterday the revocation made also to Google , it put an end to several discussions on the networks. When the case of Facebook came to light, there were immediately voices claiming that Google also did this kind of practice and that Apple did not cancel its account due to the billions it received for placing it as the default search engine in iOS.

It is an argument that fits perfectly with the cynical perspective with which all of Apple’s movements are analysed. Hours after the Facebook ban and as we have seen, Google had the same luck. But cynical interpretations did not settle for this. They went further.

The Verge headline reads: “Apple’s power over Facebook should concern us all.

In what is the usual line of this medium, the blame for Facebook using a corporate certificate to spy on users in exchange for $20 a month through an app that is beyond Apple’s control and whose purpose is not that, apparently belongs to Apple . According to the author:

In an incredible double logical somersault , Facebook and Apple are equally guilty and equally authoritarian in this case. As if Apple had something to do with the actions of a company that systematically skips over all the things it says it doesn’t do around privacy, but then finds out it ends up doing.

Somehow, for Google and Facebook to break the agreement they have accepted and carry out these actions ends up being Apple’s fault

Perhaps the best refutation of The Verge’s argument is that made by John Gruber, connoiseur of the Apple world:

Some people always question Apple’s performance in a cynical way . This is probably one of those cases in which the nature of their arguments has been more evident. But it will not be the last.