Apple said Wednesday on its website that requiring apps to be downloaded from the App Store protects consumers against scammers, keeps their privacy secure and provides developers payment for their work. All those benefits could disappear if apps can be downloaded from third-party app stores with lesser protections or users get an app from a third-party site to sideload it onto iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
The timing of Apple’s push back isn’t coincidental. The U.S. House Judiciary Committee Wednesday is scheduled to discuss six proposed antitrust bills, including one sponsored by Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island and chairman of the antitrust subcommittee that, if passed into law, could call for Apple to open up to third-party app stores and provide all of its iPhone technologies to third-party software makers.
“Allowing sideloading would degrade the security of the iOS platform and expose users to serious security risks not only on third-party app stores, but also on the App Store,” the Cupertino, California-based technology giant said on its website. “Because of the large size of the iPhone user base and the sensitive data stored on their phones — photos, location data, health and financial information — allowing sideloading would spur a flood of new investment into attacks on the platform.”
Though the proposals that most threaten Apple aren’t likely to become law as written, they show members of Congress are seeking ways to curb the dominance of tech behemoths and preview how they’re seeking to strengthen antitrust enforcement.
MacDailyNews Take: Two quotes:
We’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once: provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. — Steve Jobs, 2007
Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. — Mark Twain