NOT CONTENT WITH giving Facebook a slap for sneaky use of certificates, Apple has turned its attention to Google. The search giant made this job a bit easier for Apple, sheepishly admitting that it was doing something that looked an awful lot like what Facebook had just been punished for, albeit on a far smaller scale.
For those that missed the hoo-ha and are too lazy to click on a couple of links, here's the executive summary. Enterprise developer kits for iOS allow apps to be created that go far beyond the remit of regular programmes on the App Store on the strict understanding that they're for internal company use only.
Google's "Screenwise Meter" ignored this and would gather data on websites visited, IP addresses and cookies beyond Google's own employees.
"The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple's developer enterprise program—this was a mistake, and we apologise," Google said with its figurative tail clamped firmly between equally-figurative legs. "We have disabled this app on iOS devices."
That apology wasn't enough for Don Cook though, and Google briefly found its certificate withdrawn... which was a problem as it meant employee-only test versions of YouTube, Gmail and Calendar stopped working. Worse, the company-wide food and shuttle apps also fell over leaving somewhere between one and 94,000 employees hungry and confused.
You don't get that with Pixel 3s.
Fortunately, the ban was more of a slap on the wrist than a full-on beating, and Google's certificate was restored within a few short hours. As far as we know, nobody starved without access to the internal catering app.
Still, given Google makes over £45 million per day, even a couple of hours downtime is pretty serious. It'll probably think twice before risking such disruption again in a hurry.
Facebook also on Thursday said that its internal app access had been restored, confirming in a statement - no doubt accompanied by a sigh of relief - that "our internal apps up and running. To be clear, this didn't have an impact on our consumer-facing services." µ
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