Apple has blocked Facebook apps including Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram on iPhones. This is because the latter sidestepped the Apple Store and distributed a data tracking application on iOS devices. According to the multinational technology company, the block is to protect its users and their data, reports The Verge on January 30.
Apple Blocks Facebook Apps on iPhones
Reportedly, Apple has blocked a number of Facebook apps including the Facebook Messenger and Instagram on iPhone. The block is as a result of Facebook’s distribution of a data tracking app which was provided for download outside of the Apple store. Also, Apple’s enterprise program was used to enable the application to run on these smartphones.
In the same vein, reports reveal that apps outside of the store can be made to run by taking advantage of the Apple program. However, this program is only meant for the company’s employees. Facebook, on the other hand, had earlier stated that they will shut down the app, but before then, the damage had already been done.
Unauthorized Distribution of App is a Breach of Contract
According to Apple, the unauthorized distribution of these apps is a breach of contract and as such, it led to the revoke of Facebook’s certificate. The verge outlined that this action automatically blocks every other app that is linked to that certificate. As such, this has caused old and new versions of applications from Facebook to be inactive on iPhone.
The app in question was revealed by TechCrunch, and it is the “Facebook Research VPN”. It is offered to teens and adults while they get rewarded for installing it. According to the media outlet, the app keeps track of the user’s phone as well as their web activity. The media also added that this may have been in violation of Apple’s policy.
Facebook Says iOS Version of Research App Will be Shutdown
TechCrunch further stated that hours after its publication of the data tracking software, the social media company told them that the iOS version of the app will be shut down. Nonetheless, an Apple representative informed the media that they had already blocked the app for violating the company’s policies even before Facebook shut it down.
This bickering between two reputable companies is not the first of its kind. In June, Apple banned Facebook’s Onavo Protect app and later removed it in August. In the same vein, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO after being criticized by Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO during the Cambridge Analytica data sharing scandal, described Apple as a company that “works hard to charge you more.”