Apple punishes Facebook and Google for rule violations.
Both Google and Facebook have acknowledged that they paid users to allow extensive access to their phones. TechCrunch reported Tuesday that Facebook paid people aged 13 to 35 up to $20 a month if they installed Facebook's Research VPN app, which allowed the company to observe all activity that took place on the phone. On iOS, the app was installed from a website, rather than through the App Store. Facebook was able to distribute the app in this fashion through Apple's Enterprise Developer program, which grants certain companies special privileges meant to be used only for internal corporate apps.
By distributing this app to consumers, Facebook was committing "a clear breach of their agreement with Apple," an Apple spokesperson said. In response, Apple revoked Facebook's membership in the Enterprise Developer program. This disabled all Facebook's internal testing and productivity apps, resulting in company-wide disruption to Facebook's productivity and workflow (TechCrunch).
TechCrunch then reported on Wednesday that Google has been operating an app since 2012 called "Screenwise Meter," which appears similar to Facebook's Research VPN. This app also used Apple's Enterprise Developer program to bypass the App Store, offering gift cards to users in exchange for allowing Google to monitor their phones. Google quickly disabled the app and apologized, but Apple revoked its Enterprise certificates nonetheless (The Verge).
Apple restored both companies' certificates Thursday evening, but the brief punishment made clear the amount of influence that Apple holds over other tech giants if they step out of line (CNBC). Business Insider reports that Facebook will now have to rebuild dozens of internal apps, a process that could take weeks.