“At around 2:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Facebook sent me an update about the controversial market research program revealed on Tuesday by TechCrunch. Effective immediately, the company said, the program would end on Apple devices,” Casey Newton writes for The Verge. “What I didn’t know in the wee hours of Wednesday morning was that Facebook had already lost the general argument to its chief regulator in this case: Apple, which last night took steps to invalidate the root certificates enabling both the market research program and every single app that Facebook uses for internal testing purposes, for tens of thousands of employees around the world.”
“Tensions between Apple and Facebook have been high for some time now,” Newton writes. “Facebook has pushed back, lightly: Mark Zuckerberg called Cook’s comments about Facebook’s business model ‘extremely glib’ last year. But Zuckerberg can only ever go so far. Cook can flip a switch that removes the Facebook app from the devices of every iOS user. Facebook may be one of the most powerful companies in the world — but viewed in this way, it begins to look quite weak.”
“By invalidating Facebook’s enterprise certificate today, Cook flipped one of his lesser switches. And the result inside Facebook today was chaos, Rob Price reports. ‘The move dramatically escalated tensions between Facebook and Apple, and has left Facebook employees unable to communicate with colleagues, access internal information, and even use company transportation,'” Newton writes. “And just like that, Facebook’s entire day was wasted.”
Newton writes, “As Apple faces more pressure to serve as, as Roose put it, de facto privacy regulator, we may find ourselves uncomfortable with its monopolistic power.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The problem is that government is slow and always behind the curve. Privacy-trampling Facebook and Google need to be regulated. This much, by now, is blatantly obvious. Until or unless the governments of the world get their acts together and begin to protect their citizens’ privacy rights, we’ll settle for Apple standing in as regulator. At least some modicum of restraint on Facebook and Google is capable of being applied by someone who believes in privacy rights.
Although we’d love for Apple to banish Facebook off the App Store forever for serially abusing users’ private data, it’s not really feasible unless Apple wishes to immediately sell far, far fewer iPhones and iPads. Facebook has 2.32 billion users as of December 31st. Apple doesn’t have as nearly much power over Facebook as Newton seems to think.
Big surprise: Google is also abusing Apple’s Enterprise Certificate system to collect extensive data on users – January 30, 2019
Apple blocks Facebook from running all of their internal iOS apps by revoking distribution certificate – January 30, 2019
Apple bans Facebook’s ‘research’ app that paid teens to install VPN that spies on them – January 30, 2019
Hidden documents reveal how Facebook made money by bamboozling children – January 18, 2019
Roger McNamee: I mentored Mark Zuckerberg. I loved Facebook. But I can’t stay silent about what’s happening. – January 17, 2019
Apple CEO Cook calls for U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation in TIME op-ed – January 17, 2019
Senator Marco Rubio introduces privacy bill to create federal regulations on data collection – January 16, 2019
Apple endorses comprehensive privacy legislation in U.S. Senate testimony – September 26, 2018