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Apple warns of cybercrime risks if EU forces it to allow others’ software

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Apple on Wednesday criticized draft EU rules that would force it to allow users to install software from outside its App Store, saying it would increase the risk of cybercriminals and malware. But the Coalition for App Fairness, which includes Spotify, Match Group and Epic Games, rejected Apple’s arguments, saying that encrypted data and built-in security measures like antivirus programs provide protection to devices, not its to App Store.

The group wants regulators to loosen Apple’s grip on its App Store so they can bypass it to reach Apple’s millions of users and avoid paying commissions of up to 30 percent for purchases made in the store.

The iPhone maker has been fiercely critical of EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s proposed rules, which were announced last year to rein in Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet unit Google.

Apple on Wednesday published an analysis on the dangers of so-called side-loading, based on comments from CEO Tim Cook in June about the privacy and security risks of iPhone devices.

“If Apple were forced to support sideloading, more harmful apps would reach users because it would be easier for cybercriminals to target them – even if sideloading only extends to third-party app stores,” the report said. be limited.”

It warned against moving malicious apps to third-party stores and infecting consumer devices, while users would have less control over downloaded apps.

The study cited data from cybersecurity service provider Kaspersky Lab, which showed that nearly six million attacks per month affect Android mobile devices.

Damien Geradin, a lawyer for the group, said the side-loading was just a distraction.

“What matters to us is the obligation imposed on developers whose apps use the Apple in-app payment system to sell digital goods and services,” he told Reuters.

“Apple’s security claims have no footing on that. Alternative payment solutions provided by Stripe, Adean or PayPal are as secure as IAP,” he said.

Draft EU rules also target these practices.

Apple also took a dig at the digital advertisers with whom it is at loggerheads over its new privacy controls designed to limit iPhone users from being tracked.

The report states, “Large companies that rely on digital advertising allege that these privacy features have caused them a loss of revenue, and therefore have to circumvent these protections, especially through sideloading their apps.” There may be an incentive to deliver,” the report said.

Vestager’s draft rules need a green light from EU lawmakers and EU countries before they become law, likely in 2023.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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