NYT Editorial Board: Regulators should take a close look at Apple’s App Store

“Of the 17 most popular screen-time and parental-control apps in the App Store, 11 have been removed or restricted by Apple. The app makers believe they are being punished for competing with Apple’s own screen-time control tools, or worse, for weaning people off Apple devices,” The New York Times’ Editorial Board writes. ” Apple says that the applications — specifically, the parental-control apps — were removed because of their use of Mobile Device Management, a technology that gave third parties access to information such as ‘user location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions and browsing history.’ In other words, Apple says it removed the apps to protect the privacy of the children and parents who installed them.”

The NYT’s Editorial Board writes, “The actions by Apple highlight the inherent tension in the company’s fierce control over its mobile operating system: On the one hand, the closed environment is a boon to consumer privacy because the company has the leverage to insist upon it; on the other hand, that environment fosters a kind of monopoly.”

MacDailyNews Take: Ooh, “a kind of monopoly.” Pfft.

“Even if we take Apple at its word that it was only protecting the privacy and security of its users by removing screen-time and parental-control apps, the state of the app marketplace is troubling,” The NYT’s Editorial Board writes. “Why is a company — with no mechanism for democratic oversight — the primary and most zealous guardian of user privacy and security?”

MacDailyNews Take: Because the company can do it correctly. Certainly Apple can do it far better than a bunch of politicians led around by the nose by corporate lobbyists (“democratic oversight”) could ever dream.

“It’s time for American regulators to take a good hard look at app stores and mobile operating systems,” The NYT’s Editorial Board writes. “It might be time for another United States v. Microsoft.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, for the love of Steve!

Okay, who dropped The New York Times‘ Editorial Board on their collective head?

There is no monopoly here – or even “a kind of monopoly.”

Mobile Operating System Market Share Worldwide, April 2019
• Android: 74.85%
• iOS: 22.94%

Source: StatCounter

If customers don’t like Apple’s App Store, they are not forced to continue shopping there, they can choose another smartphone brand where they can wallow in the type of privacy-trampling, personal data-tracking insecurity that the obtuse The New York Times‘ Editorial Board demands regulators force upon everyone via their beloved “democratic oversight” (Google lobbyists telling weaselly politicians what to do; i.e. “Break Apple’s App Store so it sucks as much as ours – in the name of ‘fair competition'”). There are more than enough poorly- or non-curated app stores run by ad companies masquerading as search engines and social networks. We don’t need Apple’s App Store to be turned into a cesspool, too.

Put your helmets back on and strap on your drool cups, NYT Editorial Board, and go scribble about something you actually understand; crayons or cookies or nap time or something.

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s growing antitrust problem – April 12, 2019
Apple says treats all app developers equally as Dutch open probe – April 11, 2019
EU regulators say Dutch Apple probe complements their own investigation – April 11, 2019
Dutch antitrust regulator investigating charges of abuse by Apple in its App Store – April 11, 2019
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s simple solutions, like breaking up Apple, won’t work – March 13, 2019
Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Apple, too – March 11, 2019
Trump administration backs Apple in U.S. Supreme Court over App Store antitrust suit – November 26, 2018
Apple defends App Store fees in U.S. Supreme Court – November 26, 2018
Apple defends App Store fees as U.S. Supreme Court weighs consumer suit – November 23, 2018
Apple wants U.S. Supreme Court to undo previous decision regarding an antitrust suit – October 31, 2018
U.S. Supreme Court will decide if Apple’s App Store is an anti-competitive monopoly – June 19, 2018
U.S. Supreme Court to consider Apple appeal in antitrust suit over App Store prices – June 18, 2018
US DOJ sides with Apple over App Store antitrust allegations in Supreme Court brief – May 10, 2018
9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revives antitrust lawsuit against Apple – January 13, 2017
Apple App Store antitrust complaint dismissed on procedural grounds by U.S. judge – August 16, 2013

23 Comments

  1. The NYT is ridiculous on this topic. Apple doesn’t sell their screen time app. Therefore there is no financial motive other than maintaining a platform where you get real privacy. And the app developers who used MDM, which was meant for enterprise use, inappropriately used it for their personal apps violating Apple’s rules.

    If the NYT needs something to do, they should write about the 35% malware in the Google store, which is oooo, open and free for anyone to screw the user any way they want. The NYT has their head in the bizzaro world on this one.

    1. When has the NYT not been living in a bizzaro world? The NYT staff is composed mainly of Limousine Liberals, cloistered in leftist city that tilts an entire state leftward. Even a few of them inside see it:

      A perception that The Times is biased prompts some of the most frequent complaints from readers. Only they arrive so frequently, and have for so long, that the objections no longer land with much heft…

      A paper whose journalism appeals to only half the country has a dangerously severed public mission. And a news organization trying to survive off revenue from readers shouldn’t erase American conservatives from its list of prospects…

      Why is it that conservatives, and even many moderates, see in The Times a blue-state worldview? …What’s happening at The Times isn’t only about The Times. It’s part of a fracturing media environment that reflects a fractured country. That in turn leads liberals and conservatives toward separate news sources. A Pew Research Center survey two years ago found that liberals are flocking to The Times, with 65 percent of its readers possessing political values that were left of center.

      Imagine what would be missed by journalists who felt no pressing need to see the world through others’ eyes. Imagine the stories they might miss, like the groundswell of isolation that propelled a candidate like Donald Trump to his party’s nomination. Imagine a country where the greatest, most powerful newsroom in the free world was viewed not as a voice that speaks to all but as one that has taken sides.

      Or has that already happened?

      Liz Spayd, The New York Times Public Editor, July 23, 2016 (three months before the Times’ chosen candidate, who they fully, 100% believed would be easily elected U.S. President was disposed of, once and for all)

      1. When has Fox not been living in a bizzaro world? The Fox staff is composed mainly of drooling right-wing fanactics, cloistered in a rightist bubble that tilts half the country rightward. Even a few of them inside see it.
        A perception that Fox is biased prompts some of the most frequent complaints from viewers. Only they arrive so frequently, and have for so long, that the objections no longer land with much heft.
        A channel whose so-called journalism appeals to only half the country has a dangerously severed public mission.
        What’s happening at Fox isn’t only about Fox. It’s part of a decades long brainwashing agenda that bears a great deal of the responsibility for a fractured country.

        1. When has Sean not been living in a bizzaro world? Sean is a drooling right-wing fanactic, cloistered in a rightist bubble that tilts half his mind rightward. He is a legend inside it.
          A perception that Sean is biased prompts some of the most frequent posters from MDN. Only they arrive so frequently, and have for so long, that the objections no longer land with much heft.
          A Sean who only trolls Mac friendly websites like MDN appeals to only half the trolls has a dangerously severed public mission.
          What’s happening with Sean isn’t only about Sean. It’s part of a decades long brainwashing agenda that bears a great deal of the responsibility for a fractured mind.

      2. I believe that your likely hero Reagan ushered in societal divisiveness when he spit out the word “liberal” as if it were a bad thing, promoted trickle down which was really syphoning up, and began severely weakening worker unions while strengthening corporate unions; Subsequent Republican administrations and legislators and their Neo Lib allies expanded it further.

    2. MS didn’t sell Internet Explorer either and they NEVER disallowed a program, which is STILL an outrage. Yet still they were correctly (leniently) convicted.

      These things are worse.
      Forbid blocking competing stores and this all goes away.

  2. “Why is a company — with no mechanism for democratic oversight — the primary and most zealous guardian of user privacy and security?”

    The real question is why is Apple the only company acting as a guardian of user privacy and security?

  3. Why is it that when any mention of Apple having a monopoly on Apps is mentioned the blinders go up and MDN quotes some stats of how iOS is not the only OS and there are tons of other App stores. The point is that Apple DOES have a monopoly over Apps for iOS. That is where the argument lies for regulation. Those that love iOS devices have no other choice to obtain Apps outside the Apple App Store unless they develop their own for their own devices.

          1. I suggest Apple remove the restriction of where a developer can sell their proprietary software, for which they paid a licensing fee to Apple.

            Let me put it another way… If you want to legitimately control another parties IP, and by extension the iOS App Marketplace, then buy it outright and then have only one store, otherwise code everything yourself.

      1. No one complained about the car (Phone) sale. But if you’re buying parts (Apps) for a Ford you can get them from multiple vendors (App stores).

        Printer companies like Epson also used to have monopolies on their ink cartridges. Many of them now simply display warnings when you install 3rd party ink cartridges that there may be risks but allow you to use them after seeing the popups and clicking ‘ok’ to accept the risk, if any.

  4. If a company or individual is innocent, then he is proud to allow regulators to audit him. He doesn’t tweet “unfair witch hunt” incessantly, use nepotism or loyalty oaths as the primary hiring decisions, fire 2 AGs until he gets the personal puppet he wants, and direct others in his department to cover up info trails that, had they not been destroyed, would almost certainly link Russian money to the Trump family money laundering organization.

    I don’t doubt that Apple’s “deep moat” is in violation of the Sherman Antitrust act, but since nobody in the corrupt Congress has been willing to proscecute multinational corporations for their abuses of power for the last 6 decades, Apple will continue to exploit its artificial iOS limitations profitably as it always has.

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