Apple CEO Tim Cook issued an urgent warning against the forced opening of the iPhone’s software system to applications from other sources.
Users of Apple’s smartphone so far can only install their applications through the brand’s official store, App Store, but this will change for a new regulation of the European Union (EU).
This decision will provide an opportunity for malicious purposes to bypass Apple’s comprehensive security measures, Cook warned during the recent Global Privacy Summit of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) held in the US capital, Washington.
Apple’s CEO thus opposed European Union legislation on digital markets, known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA), on which negotiators from EU member states and the European Parliament reached an agreement at the end of March.
Cook stressed that Apple is in favour of data protection regulation and, in that regard, welcomed the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
“But we are deeply concerned about regulations that undermine privacy and security in the service of other goals,” he said.
“Here, in Washington and elsewhere, policymakers are taking actions in the name of competition that would force Apple to allow apps to enter iPhones that bypass the app store through a process called ‘sideloading’,” Cook stressed.
Apple’s CEO pointed out the threat it poses to users of other platforms, where apps can be installed outside the Google app store.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Cook noted, reports emerged of people downloading what appeared to be legitimate covid-19 tracking applications and as a result their devices were infected with ransomware.
“These victims were not iPhone users because the system was aimed directly at those who could install applications from websites that bypass App Store protections,” he said.
Supporters of the DMA say that opening up the app market also contributes to limiting the power of large Internet corporations and ensures fairer competition.
The agreement has yet to be confirmed by the Council of States of the EU and the European Parliament, which is considered a formality.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.