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Apple Shuts Down Google’s Internal Apps Over Privacy Violations

Just a day after revoking the enterprise certificate of Facebook, Apple did the same thing to Google over privacy violations. The Cupertino company’s move effectively killed Google’s internal apps for employees. For those that don’t know, the enterprise certificates allow companies to install apps internally on iOS without having to go through the App Store. The idea is so that employees can test beta versions of apps that are not public or can install internal only apps for the company.

The issue at hand is that Google, like Facebook, used those enterprise certificates to allow public beta testers or other people outside of the company to install apps. That is a privacy violation according to Apple and the reason behind the revocation of the certificates. In both the case of Google and Facebook, the issue was that they were deploying data gathering apps. Both companies had non-employees install their apps to get more data bout their customers.

As you would imagine, the revocation of these enterprise certs have had a significant impact on development teams within Facebook and Google as they are not able to distribute new internal beta builds of apps. It is unclear how or if Google will get around the issue but undoubtedly are working with Apple to get it resolved.

A sidebar conversation happening in the tech world is this being a draconian move by Apple on two of its competitors – and friends. The reality is, Apple changed the privacy policy last summer and the policy very clearly outlines what the enterprise certificates can be used for (internal only distribution) and what it cannot be used for (external distribution). While the timing of the revocations is interesting, Apple is perfectly in their right to do so. If you are going to play in their playground, you have to play by the rules.

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