Update: In a leaked memo obtained by Business Insider, Facebook continues to defend its Research app, as well as its decision to distribute it via enterprise certificates. Read the details below.
In a new statement today, Facebook says that Apple has restored its access to enterprise certificates. This means that Facebook can now use its internal applications again, which were rendered useless earlier this week when Apple barred the company’s access to enterprise certification.
Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat
In a statement to Mike Isaac of The New York Times, a Facebook spokesperson said that the company is “in the process” of making its internal apps functional. The company also confirmed that losing access to enterprise certificates did not have any effect on consumer-facing services:
“We have had our Enterprise Certification, which enables our internal employee applications, restored. We are in the process of getting our internal apps up and running. To be clear, this didn’t have an impact on our consumer-facing services.”
This comes as Google had its access to the certificate program revoked earlier today. Shortly after that, however, Apple issued a statement saying it was working with Google to restore its access as quickly as possible. In both cases, Apple’s decision to revoke enterprise certificate access had rendered internal services, such as transportation and cafe apps, useless. Further, it prohibited both companies from using beta versions of upcoming applications.
Both Facebook and Google were found to be using Apple’s enterprise certification program to distribute data collection applications. In Facebook’s case, it was caught paying users up to $20 per month for incredible levels of access to user data. Using enterprise certificates for consumer-facing applications is firmly against Apple’s guidelines.
Business Insider has obtained a leaked memo in which Facebook touches on more details of its Research application. The company says that its relationship with Apple is “really important,” though it fails to admit that it did break Apple’s guidelines by distributing the app via enterprise certificates:
Apple’s view is that we violated their terms by sideloading this app, and they decide the rules for their platform, We’ve worked with Apple to address any issues; as a result, our internal apps are back up and running. Our relationship with Apple is really important — many of us use Apple products at work every day, and we rely on iOS for many of our employee apps, so we wouldn’t put that relationship at any risk intentionally.
Further, Facebook continues to defend the Facebook Research app as “market research.”
On Tuesday TechCrunch reported on our Facebook Research program. This is a market research program that helps us understand consumer behavior and trends to build better mobile products.
We specifically wanted to make sure we were as transparent as possible about what we were doing, what information we were gathering, and what it was for.
Read the full Business Insider piece here.
latest on FB v Apple:
“We have had our Enterprise Certification, which enables our internal employee applications, restored. We are in the process of getting our internal apps up and running. To be clear, this didn’t have an impact on our consumer-facing services.” –FB spox
— rat king (@MikeIsaac) January 31, 2019
- Apple pulls Google’s enterprise certificate, breaking internal betas & employee apps
- Report: Facebook repackages Onavo VPN as ‘Research’ app, paying teens $20/month to sneakily sideload it
- Apple shutting down sketchy Facebook iPhone app – but still available on Android [U]
- Facebook negotiating with Apple to restore enterprise apps after abuse, Google accused of using similar tactics to collect user data [U]
- Zuckerberg says merging WhatsApp, Instagram & Messenger chats will improve security, create an iMessage-like experience