Apple software boss warns of proposed EU policy on App Store, IT News, ET CIO



By Supantha Mukherjee and Clara-Laeila Laudette

LISBON: Craig Federighi, Apple’s chief software officer, spoke at the Web Summit in Lisbon to voice iPhone maker objections to draft EU guidelines that could allow customers to install software outside of its App Store.

Apple maintains that such a move would make phones the target of malware or hijacking by cybercriminals and the company is sending senior executives to Europe to garner public support and show determination to prevent the proposal from becoming law.

The digital markets law under consideration in Brussels would require phone makers to allow the installation of third-party software on their devices outside of official app stores.

Big Tech critics say Apple and others are using their control over software to consolidate dominance, while Apple argues its policies are aimed at keeping users safe.

Apple calls these unofficial application installations “sideloading.” Such a function is already available on Android phones which constitute the majority of devices in the world. Apple has warned of malicious apps infecting shoppers’ gadgets and made doomsday predictions.

“Sideloading is a cybercriminal’s best friend,” Federighi insisted on stage, addressing thousands of attendees at Europe’s largest tech conference.

A compromised device could spill over into entire networks, and malware could compromise government systems, corporate networks and utilities, he said.

The draft rules need the green light from EU lawmakers and EU countries before they become law, likely eu-forces-it-allow-others-software-2021-10-13 in 2023.

Apple charges commissions of up to 30% for purchases made in the App Store and loosening its grip could allow developers to avoid paying those commissions.

Companies like Spotify, which have fought Apple on a variety of fronts, from privacy changes on iOS devices to high commissions, have called Apple’s policies “anti-competitive.”

“The sideloading discussion is just a sideshow, which is really designed to hijack the conversation from the things Apple does that are clearly anti-competitive,” Spotify chief legal officer Horacio Gutierrez said in an interview.

“No one is arguing that Apple should lower its standards for privacy and security… it makes perfect sense for Apple to set and enforce certain standards for privacy,” he said.

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