Apple on Wednesday increased its criticism of the EU’s draft rules, which will force it to allow users to install software from outside its App Store, saying it will increase the risk of cybercriminals and malware. But the App Fair Alliance, including Spotify, Match Group, and Epic Games, rejected Apple’s argument, saying that built-in security measures such as encrypted data and antivirus programs provide security for the device, rather than provide security for its App Store.
The organization wants regulators to relax Apple’s control of its App Store so that they can bypass it to reach Apple’s hundreds of millions of users and avoid paying up to 30% commissions for purchases made in the App Store.
The iPhone maker has been a fierce critic of the proposed rules announced last year by Margrethe Vestager, the head of EU antitrust, which aims to control Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet’s Google.
Based on CEO Tim Cook’s comments on the privacy and security risks of iPhone devices in June, Apple on Wednesday released an analysis of the so-called sideloading threat.
The report said: “If Apple is forced to support sideloading, more harmful applications will reach users, because cybercriminals are more likely to target them even if sideloading is limited to third-party app stores.”
It warns that malicious applications will migrate to third-party stores and infect consumer devices, and users will have less control over downloaded applications.
The study cited data from Kaspersky Lab, a network security service provider, which showed that nearly 6 million attacks affect Android mobile devices every month.
The organization’s lawyer Damien Geradin said that side loading is just a distraction.
“It is important for us that developers of apps selling digital goods and services are obligated to use Apple’s in-app payment system,” he told Reuters.
“At this point, Apple’s security statement has no place. Alternative payment solutions provided by Stripe, Adyen or Paypal are as secure as IAP,” he said.
The draft EU rules also address these practices.
Apple has also lashed out at digital advertisers who are divided over their new privacy controls aimed at restricting them from tracking iPhone users.
The report states: “Large companies that rely on digital advertising claim that they have lost revenue due to these privacy features, and therefore may have an incentive to distribute their applications through sideloading, specifically bypassing these protective measures.”
Vestag’s draft rules require the approval of EU legislators and EU countries to become law, and may become law in 2023.
© Thomson Reuters 2021