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Apple shuts down Clearview AI’s developer account for misusing enterprise certificate

Right about a year ago, Apple began enforcing its enterprise certificate policy for developers more strictly. It all started with Facebook who was abusing its certificate but it didn’t end there. Google’s account was pulled temporarily among a wave of others. Now another developer who was found to be abusing Apple’s policies has seen its account disabled.

BuzzFeed recently discovered that Clearview AI was breaking Apple’s enterprise certificate policy with its distribution of apps. The company has major public and private clients like the FBI, NBA, Macy’s, and Walmart to name a few of the 2,200 it has worked with. Clearview provides facial recognition services and was found to be asking clients to download apps through its enterprise certificate, skirting the App Store.

Apple’s enterprise certificate for developers is only to be used for internal distribution of apps, per the terms of service. However, it’s just been in the last year that Apple has begun enforcing the policy more seriously.

Here’s a rundown on Clearview AI from a previous BuzzFeed report:

In its quest to create a global biometric identification system to span both public and private sectors, Clearview has signed paid contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and Macy’s, according to the document obtained by BuzzFeed News. The company has credentialed users at the FBI, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Interpol, and hundreds of local police departments. In doing so, Clearview has taken a flood-the-zone approach to seeking out new clients, providing access not just to organizations, but to individuals within those organizations — sometimes with little or no oversight or awareness from their own management.

After getting in touch with BuzzFeed about the situation, Apple has disabled Clearview AI’s developer account and “provided them with notification to respond within 14 days.”

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.