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Tim Cook orders law makers to leave his lucrative app store alone

by on13 April 2022

If you make us face the music, user-privacy will suffer

Fruit and nutty cargo-cult supremo Tim Cook told politicians to stop bringing anti-trust charges against his app-store.

Cook warned US lawmakers that legislative attempts to crack open Apple's walled garden could have "unintended consequences" for people's privacy.

Normally when someone makes a threat like that to US politicians it means that they have negatives of them involved in bizarre sex acts, but Cook appears to believe that if he does not take huge cuts of app developer profits, some harm will come to the world.

During a speech at the International Association of Privacy Professionals conference Cook said: "We are deeply concerned about regulations that would undermine privacy and security in service of some other aim.”

"In Washington and elsewhere, policymakers are taking steps in the name of competition that would force Apple to let apps onto iPhone that circumvent the App Store through a process called sideloading," Cook said.

Currently, iPhone users cannot sideload any apps onto their device. So for example, they can't download an app to iPhone from a website on a browser.

Cook said enabling sideloading on iPhones would mean "data-hungry companies would be able to avoid our privacy rules and once again track our users against their will."

He said it would mean weaker security for users, as bad actors could circumvent the App Store's vetting process.

"Proponents of these regulations argue that no harm would be done by simply giving people a choice but taking away a more secure option will leave users with less choice," he said.

"If we are forced to let unvetted apps onto iPhone the unintended consequences will be profound," he added.

Cook did not specifically name any policymakers or prospective laws but a US bill introduced in August called the Open App Markets Act specifically targets Apple and Google's App Stores. If it passes, the law would force the companies to allow sideloading.

As you might expect that is tearing a page from Tsar Putin’s playbook as no one has suggested for a moment that Apple will be expected to stop vetting applications.

Developers have complained about the degree of control Apple exerts over its App Store, saying it amounts to anti-competitive conduct. Fortnite maker Epic Games sued Apple in August 2020 over its requirement that developers use its payment system for in-app transactions, which levies a third charge on payments.

Spotify filed an official antitrust complaint with the European Union in March 2019, saying that the charge meant it had to raise prices while also facing direct competition from Apple, which has its own music. The EU reached its preliminary conclusion in April 2021 that Apple's rules did indeed breach European competition law.


Last modified on 13 April 2022
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