Apple restores Facebook enterprise certificates following 'Facebook Research' fallout

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 31
Facebook on Thursday saw its Apple enterprise certification restored after the privileges were revoked due to developer guideline violations, meaning the company can bring a clutch of integral internal apps back online.

Facebook Research
Facebook Research app screenshots. | Source: TechCrunch


Apple restored Facebook's enterprise access roughly a day and a half after it was revoked, according to AppleInsider sources not authorized to speak on the matter.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the change in a statement to Mike Isaac of The New York Times.

"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," the spokesperson said. "To be clear, this didn't have an impact on our consumer-facing services."

The lifting of Apple's ban allows Facebook to reinstate internal apps including corporate communications software, a transportation app and pre-release versions of public apps.

Apple revoked Facebook's enterprise certificate on Wednesday after a report revealed the social media giant was illicitly using the system to conduct a data gathering program.

Specifically, Facebook was paying users ages 13 to 35 to install a VPN app called Facebook Research on their iOS devices, allowing the company to closely monitor usage patterns. In what Apple characterized as a violation of its developer guidelines, Facebook Research relied on Enterprise Developer Certificates -- designed expressly to distribute private internal software -- to enable sideloading and root access into a user's device.

Google is in a similar situation after its own data collection gambit, Screenwise Meter, was also found to rely on Apple's enterprise certificates. Earlier today, Apple disabled Google's access in much the same way as it handled Facebook's indiscretions.

AppleInsider sources said Apple is working to restore Google's privileges, though a timeline for completion is unknown.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    Since they could have distributed the apps via Test Flight, the only reason they chose this route was root access they could not get going that route. 
    n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 33
    thrangthrang Posts: 767member
    So what changed in a day and half? Isn't that the paramount question to include in the article, even if there isn't an immediate answer?
    tyler82Alex1NmacseekerberndogosmartormenajrjbdragonolsMisterKitdelreyjonesn2itivguy
  • Reply 3 of 33
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,642member
    genovelle said:
    Since they could have distributed the apps via Test Flight, the only reason they chose this route was root access they could not get going that route. 
    Well, also the limit on testflight # of users.
    fastasleeplollivern2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 33
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,642member
    thrang said:
    So what changed in a day and half? Isn't that the paramount question to include in the article, even if there isn't an immediate answer?
    You can bet Apple made some new rules and special hoops FB will have to jump through to prevent this occurring again. Heads up Google.
    Alex1Napplesnorangeswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 33
    Haven’t installed the Facebook app since I bought my iPhone 7 in 2016. Haven’t logged into Facebook since I bought my new MacBook Pro in 2017. Never installed Facebook messenger. 
    Alex1Nchristopher126lollivercornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 33
    tyler82 said:
    Haven’t installed the Facebook app since I bought my iPhone 7 in 2016. Haven’t logged into Facebook since I bought my new MacBook Pro in 2017. Never installed Facebook messenger. 
    Never ever ever ever ever had a Facebook account and I railed against both Facebook and MySpace back in the day when they both were the hot social networks on scene. I’m glad I never engaged in this  privacy compromising foolishness.
    christopher126lollivertobianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 33
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,547member
    chasm said:
    thrang said:
    So what changed in a day and half? Isn't that the paramount question to include in the article, even if there isn't an immediate answer?
    You can bet Apple made some new rules and special hoops FB will have to jump through to prevent this occurring again. Heads up Google.
    They didn't have to make new rules - facebook wasn't following the rules that were already in place.

    Much as I detest facebook, it does serve some useful purpose. Our neighborhood association has a page that is an effective way to communicate to residents, and my high school graduation committee uses it for similar uses. I have an account, but am incredibly anal about what information I put up (basically nothing.)
    muthuk_vanalingamn2itivguycornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 33
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    tyler82 said:
    Haven’t installed the Facebook app since I bought my iPhone 7 in 2016. Haven’t logged into Facebook since I bought my new MacBook Pro in 2017. Never installed Facebook messenger. 
    And this issue has nothing to do with Facebook users. Nothing to do with whether you use Facebook or not. It only has to do with Facebook employees who use iOS. Those employees could no longer install or launch private, internal apps being developed in house by Facebook. So your contribution has absolutely nothing to do with anything.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    I’m just stupefied by those who see Apple as the bad actor here. This take is all over the tech blogs. On MacRumors the comments are like 10-to-1 against Apple as abusing its power and how it shouldn’t be able to do this to a company and they hope everybody dumps their Apple products to teach Apple a lesson. 
    lollivergenovelledelreyjonesbeowulfschmidtn2itivguyStrangeDays
  • Reply 10 of 33
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,709member
    Personally I think Apple should've taken more time to restore access. 
    mobirdagilealtitudejbdragonlollivertobiann2itivguycornchipstompywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 33
    P-DogNC said:
    tyler82 said:
    Haven’t installed the Facebook app since I bought my iPhone 7 in 2016. Haven’t logged into Facebook since I bought my new MacBook Pro in 2017. Never installed Facebook messenger. 
    Never ever ever ever ever had a Facebook account and I railed against both Facebook and MySpace back in the day when they both were the hot social networks on scene. I’m glad I never engaged in this  privacy compromising foolishness.
    Same here...Stevo said (ca. 2012) FaceBook's requirements were 'onerous!' After reading that, I never went near FaceBook, Google, Twitter, MS, Amazon, or Yahoo!

    I preferred to pay for iLife, .Mac, iTunes, MacOS upgrades, etc., etc.
    lolliverflyingdpwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 33

    lkrupp said:
    ...So your contribution has absolutely nothing to do with anything.
    Hmmmm...a bit dismissive. One might say, 'Rude.'

    I think Tyler82 is saying it's another example of how duplicitous FaceBook, ergo, Mark Zuckerberg 'is.' :)

    No offense. :)
    edited January 31 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 33
    Would have causes significant disruption to both Google and FB. That is what I hate about ad companies, invasion of privacy. No longer content to sending people to the street to collect polls, internet companies mine your data over and over again. Happy I sold my FB stock today (nothing related to this). Finally.
    edited January 31 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 33
    lkrupp said:
    I’m just stupefied by those who see Apple as the bad actor here. This take is all over the tech blogs. On MacRumors the comments are like 10-to-1 against Apple as abusing its power and how it shouldn’t be able to do this to a company and they hope everybody dumps their Apple products to teach Apple a lesson. 
    Not sure what thread you’re referring to on MR, but the one I’ve seen is running about 10 to 1 against Facebook.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 33
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,674member
    P-DogNC said:
    tyler82 said:
    Haven’t installed the Facebook app since I bought my iPhone 7 in 2016. Haven’t logged into Facebook since I bought my new MacBook Pro in 2017. Never installed Facebook messenger. 
    Never ever ever ever ever had a Facebook account and I railed against both Facebook and MySpace back in the day when they both were the hot social networks on scene. I’m glad I never engaged in this  privacy compromising foolishness.
    P-DogNC said:
    tyler82 said:
    Haven’t installed the Facebook app since I bought my iPhone 7 in 2016. Haven’t logged into Facebook since I bought my new MacBook Pro in 2017. Never installed Facebook messenger. 
    Never ever ever ever ever had a Facebook account and I railed against both Facebook and MySpace back in the day when they both were the hot social networks on scene. I’m glad I never engaged in this  privacy compromising foolishness.
    Same here...Stevo said (ca. 2012) FaceBook's requirements were 'onerous!' After reading that, I never went near FaceBook, Google, Twitter, MS, Amazon, or Yahoo!

    Like it or not, Facebook enables the individual to keep in touch with many folks in a social-media setting.  I use it constantly for my friends, business, and a lot of forums for exchanging ideas.  Used responsibly, it has more pluses than minuses for me and countless others.  More people use Facebook than not.  You guys are in a vocal minority.

    That being said, people that do use it need to realize that nothing is "free".  Whatever they put out there for the world to see/read is out there and people monetize on that.  If Facebook wants to find out (or sell) my data that shows I like cute puppy videos, I couldn't care less.  I carefully curate my FB interaction so nothing is out there that can haunt me in some way.  The media and haters like to make it sound like Facebook sells your financial information when there's a breach which is patently false.  If you post something on the internet, anywhere, assume it's public knowledge and move on.  If shops like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Google started offering plans for say $5 per month to guarantee 100% privacy, would you or anyone else pay for that?  I highly doubt it, yet folks get angry when a "free" services to them monetizes the information they themselves put out there.  

    What Facebook and Google did with the certificate abuse was wrong, and they should have gotten more severe punishment, but the rest of the information-leaking nonsense is a joke.  As I've said in the past, I am more angry at the Equifax breach (and non-action by congress) than I am of any leak that Facebook had.  It's a big ruckus about nothing.
    anantksundaramgatorguymuthuk_vanalingamavon b7n2itivguy
  • Reply 16 of 33
    stompystompy Posts: 336member
    lkrupp said:
    I’m just stupefied by those who see Apple as the bad actor here. This take is all over the tech blogs. On MacRumors the comments are like 10-to-1 against Apple as abusing its power and how it shouldn’t be able to do this to a company and they hope everybody dumps their Apple products to teach Apple a lesson. 
    Hope this convinces you to never again read comments on MR. It's like asking a random stranger to gouge out your eyes.
    edited January 31 lolliverchristopher126StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 33
    HighCollideHighCollide Posts: 7unconfirmed, member
    Everyday is a new day to better ourselves, share the message, & change the world back it’s true nature. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 33
    How about Apple revoking the public certificates of Facebook and Google "by mistake" and take few days to correct it? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 33
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,149member
    That was way to fast.  What kind of weak punishment was that?  It’s not the first Time Facebook took things to far.  Apple couldn’t wait at least a week?  So Facebook has really learned nothing.  

    lollivercornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 33
    I personally believe Apple did this just to show the impact if this happens again. Both companies need each other too much to let this spiral out of control. Like it or not, many people would get rid of their iOS devices if the Facebook nonsense was removed. WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, and the main app are like oxygen for many people. And without iOS, how much are those ads really worth on Facebook given the historical difference between Android and iOS revenue per user? But for the record, I think Facebook is awful and the leadership is corrupt. I did some brief consulting out there when I worked for a consulting firm and it was like a cult. 
    delreyjoneswatto_cobra
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