Yesterday, Facebook announced that Apple has restored its developer enterprise certificate. This certificate allows Facebook to distribute internal apps among its employees that use IOS that bypasses Apple's app store.
This announcement comes in the wake of Apple revoking Facebook's certificate due to the company violating its Terms of Service (TOS) that shutdown internal and beta Facebook apps. This resulted in a wave of chaos within the ranks of Facebook as programs used for testing and communication between IOS users were all suspended. Facebook has stated in response that it did not violate Apple's TOS but has not provided proof that they did not violate the TOS. However, seven hours after the first report of this was made, Facebook has since updated their statement to TechCrunch that it will be removing the IOS research app.
For those unfamiliar with the issue, Facebook since 2016 has been paying users up to $20 a month to download and install their "Research" app. This app gives itself network root access along with access to data on user mobile devices. According to security expert Will Strafach, if Facebook utilized the full potential of the data they have access to, they could collect data such as messages, social media app messages, photos and videos, emails, web browser searches, and user location data. Facebook's apps don't clarify what data they are collecting, just that they have the potential to access all that data.
By the looks of it, Facebook will be continuing their research program on Android but Facebook will have to review itself to make sure it does not make the same mistake with Apple again.