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Apple has just confirmed how dangerous it is for companies to rely on the products of their competitors, after revoking the developer certificates of Facebook and Google.
Facebook confirms that ALL its employee-only internal iOS apps (the apps testing every product in the works, as well as internal employee resource apps, for transportation etc) are offline. They say they're trying to negotiate with Apple right now.
— Sarah Frier (@sarahfrier) January 30, 2019
As can be seen from the tweet above, the nuclear option has had devastating consequences for the ability of Facebook employees to engage with their company resources, revealing that Facebook’s relationship with Apple’s always byzantine store policies was their weakest security link.
The root cause was, of course, Facebook and Google using their developer certificate to give them deep access to members of the public recruited for market research. While Apple has called this a violation of their Store policies, the truth is of course that this was the only way 3rd parties had to access iPhones at a more than a superficial level, a consequence of Apple’s closed platform. It is likely that this practice is widespread and involve much more than Google and Facebook.
What Apple has revealed is that not only is the iPhone a difficult to access platform, it is also one Apple can remove at the drop of a hat, making it a truly unreliable platform to base line-of-business apps on.
I suspect Facebook has already put in their order for a few thousand Android handsets, a platform where owning your device actually means owning it.