Apple Fails to Block Porn and Gambling ‘Enterprise’ Apps

Josh Constine, reporting for TechCrunch:

Facebook and Google were far from the only developers openly abusing Apple’s Enterprise Certificate program meant for companies offering employee-only apps. A TechCrunch investigation uncovered a dozen hardcore pornography apps and a dozen real-money gambling apps that escaped Apple’s oversight. The developers passed Apple’s weak Enterprise Certificate screening process or piggybacked on a legitimate approval, allowing them to sidestep the App Store and Cupertino’s traditional safeguards designed to keep iOS family friendly. Without proper oversight, they were able to operate these vice apps that blatantly flaunt Apple’s content policies.

The situation shows further evidence that Apple has been neglecting its responsibility to police the Enterprise Certificate program, leading to its exploitation to circumvent App Store rules and forbidden categories.

I had no idea until this Facebook thing broke just how many developers are using the “enterprise” system to effectively sideload native iOS apps, bypassing the App Store. TechCrunch has a list of a few dozen here, but the full list is way longer. Dozens and dozens of bootleg content apps like this one, which just changes its cert every few weeks. Either Apple has been purposefully looking the other way on this, or they’ve been asleep at the switch and a reckoning is coming.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019