Although most media coverage was focused on the Facebook app gathering user data, it looks that Apple was more annoyed by the fact that Facebook (and Google) has abused its enterprise developer certificates. Instead, it was using the certification - which should only be used to create employee apps - to quietly make a consumer-accessible app, which circumvents Apple's standard review process.
In both cases, losing their enterprise certificates seemingly affected only internal apps, and not consumer-facing ones.
Thus far, Apple has not indicated whether it will be ramping up its policing of companies' use of enterprise certificates as a result of Facebook and Google's actions. The program allows the installation of apps that don't feature on the regular App Store, which is useful to developers who want to test apps before launching them, or to offer employee-only internal apps. This means that any apps Google was distributing to employees internally, including beta versions of products, stopped working. Apple stipulates that apps for the public should be distributed through App Store. The enterprise program allows companies to digitally sign their own custom iOS and macOS apps, and hand them to employees for internal use and development.
Developers of iOS apps have no way to distribute unvetted apps apart from releasing app code as open source so other iOS developers can build and install such projects on their own gear. Facebook has since shut down the controversial VPN iOS app, but is still working with Apple to try and bring it back. This app is completely voluntary and always has been.
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But Facebook wasn't the only one engaging in such practices. Facebook also worked this past year with a public-relations firm, Definers Public Affairs, to urge reporters to scrutinise Apple and other tech companies.
Both incidents took place after Facebook and Google were found to be running "research" apps which collected data from users. It is now punishing Google, too.
"It wasn't "spying" as all of the people who signed up to participate went through a clear on-boarding process asking for their permission and were paid to participate", a Facebook spokesperson informed EURACTIV.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been teasing a privacy standoff with the internet giants. The app was a voluntary download, with users 13-to-35 receiving compensation in exchange for allowing Facebook - and possibly 3rd party app developers - to track almost all their smartphone activity.