Facebook is not the only company that misused Apple’s Enterprise Certificate system, as Google has now admitted that it also violated the same policies as Facebook’s “Research App.”
A TechCrunch report earlier revealed that Facebook was secretly distributing a VPN app which covertly collects data on how they used their devices in exchange for money($20).
The research app made use of Enterprise certificates which allows users at a company to install and use apps directly, without getting reviewed under Apple’s strict policies on the App Store.
Apple’s rules state that such kinds of apps can only be used by employees at a company but Facebook misused it to make its app available to consumers.
Similarly, Google has admitted that it distributed “Screenwise Meter” app by misusing the same certifications. Just like the Research app, Google’s Screenwise Meter app also collected data on what users did with their phones, in exchange for money.
So Apple could revoke Google’s enterprise license as well which will prevent Google employees from using certain internal apps, including the test versions of iPhone apps.
But Google has apologized for the same in a statement to TechCrunch:
“The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple’s developer enterprise program — this was a mistake, and we apologize.”
Google has also disabled the app on iOS devices and claims that it has no access to encrypted data in apps or on devices. It further added that users can opt out of the program any time they want.
Now, it’s up to Apple if it wants to punish Google for this policy breach or the apology is enough for the search giant to evade the possible cancellation of Enterprise Certificate.