Apple blocks Google from running its internal iOS apps

By Anuj Sharma - February 1, 2019
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Google's app was found to be in violation of Apple’s app distribution policy and was shut down, not unlike the shutdown of Facebook's research app earlier this week. Both the companies can now no lo....

Apple has blocked Google from running its internal iOS app after the search giant violated terms of its developer agreement. The move comes just a day after Apple did the same thing to Facebook’s research app as a result of its violation of the terms of the developer certificate.

The company used the same certificate that Apple has revoked to distribute the Screenwise Meter app. The Screenwise Meter issued gift cards in exchange for Google monitoring a user's web traffic and data by installing a VPN app.

The difference between the approaches of Facebook and Google was that Facebook was blocked by Apple before the social media giant had a chance to shut the service down itself. Google, on the other hand, shut down Screenwise Meter before Apple had the chance. Additionally, Google has also apologised explicitly to users, but Facebook did not.

‘The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple's developer enterprise program. This was a mistake, and we apologise. We have disabled this app on iOS devices. This app is completely voluntary and always has been. We've been upfront with users about the way that we use their data in this app, we have no access to encrypted data in apps and on devices, and users can opt out of the program at any time,’ said Google in a statement.

Google apps that have been impacted are beta or pre-release versions of consumer apps, such as carpooling coordination, internal messaging services and a few others.

‘We are working together with Google to help them reinstate their enterprise certificates very quickly,’ said an Apple spokesperson.

As per Apple’s governing conduct, the Enterprise Developer Certificates are meant for use within a company and are not for the public. And in order to push apps to the public, developers must either go through Apple’s App Store, which has strong data privacy rules or offer it as part of Apple's TestFlight beta program, which has a user count of 10,000.

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