Apple VP Federighi delivers hypocritical speech on dangers of sideloading apps

Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi delivered a dramatic speech at Web Summit 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal in which he focused on what might happen if Apple is forced to allow iPhone and iPad users to sideload apps.

Apple VP Federighi delivers dramatic speech on dangers of sideloading apps

Samuel Axon for Ars Technica:

The European Commission is actively discussing the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which is intended to regulate big tech platforms to ensure a fair playing ground. Companies like Apple could face fines of up to 10 percent of their global revenue.

In its current proposed form, the DMA would force Apple to begin allowing sideloading on the iPhone or face such fines. Federighi called the DMA out specifically in his speech, briefly voicing support for it overall but singling out the sideloading provision in almost apocalyptic terms.

“Sideloading is a cybercriminal’s best friend, and requiring that on the iPhone would be a gold rush for the malware industry,” he said to a large audience. “That one provision in the DMA could force every iPhone user into a landscape of professional con artists constantly trying to fool them.” … [Federighi] likened the sideloading provision of the DMA to a mandate that every house have an unlocked door installed.

MacDailyNews Take: This is, of course, gout-inducingly rich considering Apple’s attempt to install an unlocked backdoor into all of their products this summer (now, “delayed,” not canceled).

In other words: Cancel your backdoor surveillance bullshit, Apple, or STFU.

The shameless hypocrisy here is nauseating. Apple can’t keep selling privacy when they’re so clearly willing to destroy it. The company cannot have it both ways. We’re not buying it.

More about Apple’s ill-considered abject disloyalty to customers here.

Note to Apple’s misguided, deceitful, and/or compromised management: No, we’re not stopping. Do the right thing.

And, by the way, Apple allows sideloading apps on the Mac, yet the company routinely touts how much more secure the Mac is versus Windows PCs, so, logically, it follows that if the Digital Markets Act were enacted, Apple could apply the same third-party app certification to iOS and iPadOS as they do for macOS and still offer a markedly safer experience than the toxic hellstew provided by Android phones and tablets.

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  1. The security on a Mac is such that “sideloading” doesn’t incur material security issues, but on iOS, the same action brings security concerns?

    To the 1st scenario…really?
    To the 2nd…why?

    Maybe it’s time to make iOS (more) bulletproof, or distinctly able to fend off possible intrusion?

    “Backdoor” is completely separate…but it needs to be jettisoned, not just “delayed.” People are innocent until proven guilty. AAPL; please design and present with that principle overriding.

  2. I can go to Macupdate and find thousands of Mac apps. I then go to the Mac App Store, and they recirculate the same 50 apps on their front page . . . it seems to me that Apple is more concerned with maintaining their monopoly, and “taxing” a chunk of every transaction, than to creating a true marketplace for apps.

      1. In 39 years, since the early PCs and Macs, except for a VERY few viruses in the EARLY DAYS, I have NEVER been compromised in at least 3 decades.

        If you know how to be careful, you can easily avoid that. Using the term “sideloading” makes it sound ominous and dangerous but that is just fearmongering and spreads FUD.

        Like most things, the best defence is education. Some tools are nice to have but technocrats need to stop treating people like children and allow them choice. Anything else causes a lot of suspicion as to their motives.

  3. While I truly HATE the idea of what Apple is PROPOSING to do with imagery analysis and believe that Apple should publicly state that they are completely dropping the idea and never should have even considered it, I’m tired of people calling it a backdoor. It is not. Never has been. If you think what Apple is proposing is a backdoor then you have absolutely zero idea of what a backdoor really is.

    Sideloading on iPhones is very different from side loading on a Mac. Dig into the mechanics of it before you start saying they are equivalent. How applications run on a Mac is different from how apps run under iOS. Just one example: how many T2 chips are in the current iPhone 13? While the T2 has proven to be vulnerable under a couple explicit exploits, it is a major difference between Mac and iPhone implementations in favor of Mac security.

    1. Are you implying that any Mac without a T2 chip is not secure? Phooey! Sure a T2 chip makes it more secure, but not having one is not the same as implying a Mac is not secure without one, like an “unlocked door”.

      So, I have been repeatedly making the argument all along that Macs have been “sideloading” (what a terrible euphemism meant to invoke FUD) all along. Though loading apps from the App store does supposedly make the iPhone/iPad more secure, as has been pointed out, Macs have Gateway to accomplish a similar result.

      Though users may not all be sophisticated, there is no need to treat users like children. They should have choice. It feels like Apple is more about protecting its bottom line than about protecting the people.

    2. “I’m tired of people calling it a backdoor. It is not.”

      Well if you know what it is not, then you must know what it is by comparison. You did not say. So, prove your case.

      I’m not buying your high horse declaration. “Backdoor” seems to me is a useful euphemism and appropriate used all over the internet…

  4. It’s always been hypocritical.
    On one hand defending 4th Amendment type rights (privacy) while destroying 1st Amendment type rights with censorship.

    And to top it off, they don’t own the device or the 3rd party apps.
    Kiss my a$$ Jobs, Cook, Federighi, et. al.

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