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Apple punishes Google with iPhone app restrictions

(Image credit: Image Credit: Antb / Shutterstock)

Apple has decided to revoke Google's ability to offer employees-only iPhone apps.

The move follows the revelation that Facebook was paying teens and millennials $20 to install a VPN app called Facebook Research that was spying on them and mining their data. It was using its enterprise access to distribute a market research app. That's why Apple revoked the certificates and forced Facebook to pull the app.

When the news broke out, it was uncovered that Google was essentially doing the same thing with an app of its own, called Screenwise. The latter was somewhat proactive, pulling the app itself before Apple could react. But that still didn't stop Apple from revoking the company's ability to offer employee-only apps for the iPhone ecosystem.

A day later (end of working day Thursday), both companies have had their access restored, the BBC confirmed.

"We are in the process of getting our internal apps up and running" a spokeswoman told the BBC (opens in new tab). "To be clear, this didn't have an impact on our consumer-facing services."

According to security experts, Facebook was mining private messages in social media apps, chats from in instant messaging apps – including photos/videos sent to others, emails, web searches, web browsing activity, and even ongoing location information by tapping into the feeds of any location tracking apps users may have had installed.

Image Credit: Antb / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.