Apple punishes Google with iPhone app restrictions

Apple punishes Google with iPhone app restrictions

Apple reinstated their access hours later on Thursday evening.

Still, the shutoff didn't seem to debilitate Facebook's ability to work.

Facebook was found to be using Apple's program for internal app distribution to track teenage users with a research app. Those include early versions of Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail, as well as apps for Google's buses and cafe.

While Apple's action can be appreciated from a privacy and safety perspective, it also underscores the exceptional power the company holds over its hardware and software ecosystem.

The situation stemmed from a dispute after Facebook violated Apple's rules by publicly distributing a research app that allowed it to snoop on users' online activity. Its developers work on code on Facebook's internal systems. "To be clear, this didn't have an impact on our consumer-facing services".

Sheryl Sandberg has roundly dismissed criticisms of Facebook for its latest privacy fiasco, but security experts aren't buying it.

Apple hadn't responded to inquiries as of Thursday morning, but as TechCrunch's Zack Whittaker hypothesizes, Google's alacrity in responding to the issue - and, probably, its full awareness of how much bad press Facebook got over first the Onavo VPN and then the Research VPN - is probably enough to keep it out of being baked into another deep-dish Apple privacy-protecting pie.

The saga began earlier this week when Facebook was discovered to be paying people as young as thirteen $20 for total access to their phones.

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Google's ScreenWise Meter app was a little different from Facebook's app.

"Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked", an Apple spokesperson told Mashable yesterday in reference to Facebook's certificate revocation due to its own Research app.

Google and Apple have a lucrative business relationship worth billions of dollars a year, since Googles pays a commission for the ads that it sells as the built-in search engine on iPhones.

She added that fewer than 5 percent of users in the research program were teenagers and that all had obtained signed parental consent forms.

"Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple", Tammy Levine, an Apple spokeswoman, said at the time.

Smaller developers have to play by Apple's strict rules, so it's encouraging to see the same ones applied to tech giants, he said.

This situation is very similar to recent news about a Facebook app geared towards teens which paid them $20 to track almost everything they do on their iOS devices.

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