Apple may no longer be a 1 trillion dollars company but they still got the might of one. On Wednesday, Apple disabled enterprise certificates that Facebook and Google use to communicate in-house.
A Little Detail
A certificate is basically a stamp, seal or signature that verifies that an IOS app is authorized for use and/or has no legal or standards issues. Apple signs every software that is downloadable from the App store with a certificate.
Its one of the reasons the Apple App store is highly trusted because every app is censored and verified to ensure it has the needed standards.
The enterprise certificate is a more specialized seal that is limited to work within an organization. For instance, I have an app I just created and I’d like to test run it within my organization. All I have to do is get a certificate through the Apple Developer Enterprise Program and pay an annual subscription fee and then employees and co-workers can use the app.
What’s the Big Deal?
Apple has rules on how companies should participate in their iOS Developer Enterprise Program, be it a small or big company. One of the rules is that you must not allow people outside of your workforce to test your app. Facebook and Google breached that standard by letting people outside their workforce use the platform.
Facebook has been conducting research by paying users $20 a month to get full information on how they use their phones daily and it may seem they leaked this enterprise protected apps to external users as for Google their crime is not exactly clear yet.
This is why it is believed that it was more of a show of power than a reprimand for breaking the rules. You don’t have to worry, consumer apps like Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Gmail, and the likes were not affected.