Apple Privacy Rules Shake Up Google, Facebook

Apple has restored Google’s internal applications in the App Store. The company disabled access to Google’s internal iOS apps, such as pre-release versions of Gmail, Hangouts and Maps, as well as employee-only apps for the company's cafes and buses.

The Google apps were banned on Thursday after Apple found they violated app store privacy rules. For starters, the apps were siphoning personal data from phones.

It began after a media outlet found Facebook had been paying people to install a research app that grants access to all user phone and web activity. Later it was discovered that Google’s app did the same.

So Apple withdrew the enterprise developers’ license of Google and Facebook, which disabled internal employees’ app for violating company rules. Facebook violated Apple’s policies by distributing a data collection app to consumers.

Suspending the licenses stopped app development inside both companies and disrupted basic corporate functions until Apple once again granted access Thursday night.



Facebook’s app, known as Research, gave the social network access to all the data flowing from the device it was installed on. Facebook paid users, including teenagers, $20 monthly to install the app, explains TechCrunch.

Ironically, Facebook’s app was banned last year, taken down from Apple’s app store, and then repackaged.

Then Google was caught doing nearly the same thing with its Screenwise app.

There’s a vetting process for most apps. Well, nearly all except apps used by developers building apps used internally by enterprise employees. These bypass the App Store vetting process.


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