Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the new rules proposed by the EU and the US to regulate the mobile app market could jeopardize the privacy of iPhone users if the apps can be installed from third-party sources.
“If we are forced to allow unverified applications on the iPhone, the unintended consequences could be serious. Data-collecting companies will be able to bypass our privacy policies and track our users again against their will,” Mr. Cook said during his speech at the Global Privacy Summit in Washington.
The authorities of different countries are now seeking to adjust the policies of the Apple mobile app store. The EU is preparing to pass the Digital Markets Act (DMA), according to which the official App Store will no longer be the only source of software in the ecosystem of Apple devices, and the company will lose the ability to exclusively charge a commission on each transaction.
Apple CEO: installing apps on iPhone from third-party sources is dangerous
Similar measures are going to be taken by American lawmakers who have seen signs of monopolies in the actions of both Apple and Google. In July, more than 30 states sued Google; accusing the company of abusing its dominant position in the mobile software market.
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The draft Digital Markets Act (DMA), announced by the European Union, contains a requirement that will force Apple to allow users to install mobile applications from sources alternative to the standard App Store.
“We believe that the owner of a smartphone should have the freedom to choose how to use it. This freedom includes the ability to connect alternative application sources for it. With DMA, the smartphone owner will still be able to enjoy the safe and secure services of the app store available by default. In addition, if this is the user’s choice, DMA will allow the smartphone owner to connect other secure app stores;” Johannes Bahrke, a representative of the European Commission, commented on the initiative.
The European Parliament has not yet put the DMA draft to a vote; but, we expect that there will be no difficulties with its adoption. Member countries of the EU will have the opportunity to interpret its requirements; at their own discretion in relation to national legislation.
The EU, on the other hand, suggests that users themselves decide whether to allow installation from third-party sources or not; similarly, this is now available in Google Android, where users determine the available alternatives.