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Monday, October 18, 2021

Apple warns of risks from the EU Commission’s digital package

Apple is warning of negative consequences for consumers against parts of the EU’s plans for new rules in the digital business.

The group specifically criticises that it will be forced to allow other app stores on its iPhone. This would seriously worsen the security and privacy of users, argued Apple in a paper published on Wednesday.

The group points out, among other things, that all apps and updates on its platform are examined by software and human auditors in order to filter out fraudulent applications. In addition, developers would have to adhere to Apple guidelines on data protection. With so-called side loading, in which apps are loaded onto the iPhone from sources other than the official store, these safety precautions were omitted, emphasises Apple.

Even users who then wanted to rely exclusively on Apple’s own app store would be more at risk, warns the company. On the one hand, because some apps could then only be available from other sources. On the other hand, because the new situation would give criminals more incentives to attack the iPhone with its multitude of valuable data.
Apple’s app store system is currently under pressure. Among other things, a process in California ended a few weeks ago in which the game provider Epic Games (“Fortnite”) wants to open the platform to other app platforms. A judgment is still pending. Among other things, Epic is opposed to the fact that a fee of 15 to 30 percent is due for digital business on Apple’s platform and that as a developer you have to use the group’s system for in-app purchases. US bills for more competition in the tech industry are also targeting the business model.

In the paper on the dangers of other app sources, Apple did not refer directly to the planned Digital Markets Act (DMA) of the EU Commission – but CEO Tim Cook explicitly linked the risks with it a few days ago. Current DMA formulations “would force side loading on the iPhone,” said Cook in an interview at the Vivatech technology conference. “As we see it, this would destroy the security of the iPhone and many data protection initiatives that we have built into the App Store,” he criticised.

 

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