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Apple Kills Google's In-House iOS Apps in Privacy Spat

Editors' Note: Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET with Facebook reporting that its enterprise certificate had been restored.

Apple revoked Google's developer and enterprise certificates for in-house iOS apps today (Jan. 31), one day after Apple did the same thing to Facebook.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Verge said a source told it that iOS apps in development by Google engineers no longer worked, and neither did iOS apps used by Google employees to get bus rides and eat at Google-campus cafes.

"We're working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps, which we expect will be resolved soon," a Google spokesperson told The Verge.

An Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch that "we are working together with Google to help them reinstate their enterprise certificates very quickly."

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Both Facebook and Google are in trouble for using their iOS enterprise certificates to "provision" specialized apps used by iPhone-owning consumers who were part of market-research programs. That violates Apple's developer and enterprise agreements, which state that such certificates cannot be used for consumer-facing apps.

"Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked," Apple said yesterday (Jan. 30) regarding Facebook's app. This afternoon, however, Facebook said its enterprise certification had been restored.

Facebook had contended that its market-research program was never a secret, despite TechCrunch's implication that it had been. Google's market-research program has been running since 2012 and details about it — including how to install its apps on iOS devices using enterprise certificates — are posted on publicly accessible Google websites.

TechCrunch broke the news that Facebook was running the market-research program late Tuesday (Jan. 30), and that Google had a similar program the following day. Both companies stopped distributing the iOS apps after the TechCrunch stories ran.