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Apple bans Google’s developer certificate one day after doing it to Facebook

Published Jan 31st, 2019 5:03PM EST
Apple developer certificate Google
Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

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Apple isn’t messing around. The iPhone maker’s leadership has increasingly made the championing of privacy a hallmark of its brand identity, and with that in mind Apple has taken swift and dramatic action over the past 24 hours in response to the actions of  two of the biggest technology companies who also depend on Apple’s platform.

One day after doing it to Facebook, it’s now been revealed that Apple has likewise blocked Google’s developer certificate — effectively restricting Google’s ability to test its iOS apps internally. As a consequence, internal versions at Google of everything from Google Maps to Gmail aren’t working anymore, which can be traced back to a couple of things yesterday.

As we noted here, this all started with Facebook. A TechCrunch report that landed like a bombshell revealed that the social networking giant had been using a creepy-sounding app for iOS and Android to pretty much spy on everything a participating user does on their smartphone. It was a permission-based app that paid users for the privilege. Facebook apologized and disabled the app, but then Apple blocked Facebook’s developer certificate, which had the effect of breaking Facebook’s internal iOS apps which they used to test early versions of releases, among other things.

Before the day was over, it was revealed that Google had a similar app. Same story. Google apologized. Google disabled it. Now Apple has done the same thing to Google.

Per The Verge: “A person familiar with the situation tells The Verge that early versions of Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail, and other pre-release beta apps have stopped working today, alongside employee-only apps like a Gbus app for transportation and Google’s internal cafe app.

“In an earlier statement over Facebook’s certificate removal, Apple did warn that ‘any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked.’ Apple is clearly sticking to its rules and applying them equally to Facebook, Google, and likely many other companies that get caught breaking Apple’s rules in the future.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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