Washington, United States:
In a rare speech in Washington on Tuesday, Apple head Tim Cook attacked measures to regulate his company’s App Store, arguing that new rules could threaten iPhone users’ privacy.
Cook put forward the Silicon Valley giant’s perspective as momentum gathered for legislation that could weaken Apple’s dominance in the app market, which critics say amounts to a monopoly.
“We are deeply concerned about regulations that would undermine privacy and security in service of another purpose,” Cook told a meeting of the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
“Proponents of this regulation argue that there is no harm in simply giving people a choice, but by taking away a safer option, users have less choice, not more,” he added.
It’s about the efforts of policymakers in the United States and elsewhere to force Apple to allow apps on the iPhone from places other than the App Store, which is currently the single gateway to the company’s billions of devices in circulation.
Apple and Google dominate the market, with their operating systems running on the vast majority of the world’s smartphones.
Apple has clashed in court with Fortnite maker Epic Games, which has attempted to break Apple’s hold on the App Store and accuse the iPhone maker of having a monopoly over its retail store for digital goods or services.
A federal judge in November ordered Apple to relinquish control of its App Store payment options, but said Epic had failed to prove antitrust violations.
Apple has also recently been sparring with regulators in Europe.
By allowing iPhone users to “sideload” apps from digital stores other than the App Store, Apple would bypass checking for malicious code or data-gathering features, Cook said.
“That means data-hungry companies can get around our privacy rules and again track our users against their will,” Cook added.
Critics have contradicted that Apple is using the App Store to its advantage, taking a bite out of financial transactions and keeping app makers under its thumb.
“If we are forced to allow unscreened apps on the iPhone, the unintended consequences will be profound,” Cook argued. “We will continue to make our voices heard on this matter.”
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)