After the reports of Facebook Research App spy activities and iOS Onavo Protect App being banned by Apple, now Apple further bans Facebook from distributing internal iOS apps. Reports claim that early versions of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and other pre-release “dogfood” (beta) apps have stopped working. The social network’s use of business certificates to distribute apps to non-employees was a “clear breach” of its agreement with Apple, a spokesperson said.
This ban comes in response to news that the social networking site has been using Apple’s program for internal app distribution to track teenage customers with a “research” app. It has already defended the research program in spite of deciding to shut it down. However, development versions of key Facebook iOS apps (including Messenger and Instagram) stopped working after Apple pulled the certificates.
In a response to Recode and a mail to The Verge, Apple said that Facebook was in “clear breach of their agreement with Apple.” Any developer that breaches that agreement, Apple said, has their distribution certificates revoked, “which is what we did in this case to protect our users and their data.” Apple declined to comment on shutting down all of Facebook’s internal apps.
This is the first instance of Apple taking an action that directly shuts down some of Facebook’s activities. Due to this shutdown, the Social Networking Site confirmed that its internal apps are being affected by Apple revoking its enterprise certificate.