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Apple warns of cybercrime risks if EU forces it to allow others’ software By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO : The Apple logo appears on The Marche Saint Germain Paris in Paris, France. July 15, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS, (Reuters) –Apple Inc has stepped up its critique of EU draft regulations that would require it to let users install software outside of its App Store. This would increase the threat of malware and cybercriminals.

The Coalition for App Fairness which comprises Spotify (NYSE:), Match Group(NASDAQ:), and Epic Games dismissed Apple’s arguments. They stated that Apple’s App Store is not protected by built-in security features such as encryption and anti-virus programmes, but rather its App Store.

This group is asking regulators not to impose a monopoly on Apple’s App Store in order to enable them to access Apple’s millions of users. They also want to get rid of the 30% commission that Apple charges for selling products through their Store.

Margrethe Vestager, EU Antitrust Chief, has come under fire from the iPhone maker for her criticism of proposed EU rules. These were announced last year to control Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, and Alphabet, which was part of Google’s unit Google.

Apple published Wednesday a report on sideloading, based on comments made by Tim Cook in June regarding the security and privacy of iPhones.

“If Apple were forced to support sideloading, more harmful apps would reach users because it would be easier for cybercriminals to target them – even if sideloading were limited to third-party app stores only,” the report said.

This warning was made in regards to malicious apps that could be downloaded from third-party sites and then infect consumer devices. However, users will have less control of the apps that they are downloading.

Kaspersky Lab, a cybersecurity service provider, provided figures that showed almost six million Android-based attacks each month.

Damien Geradin from the group’s legal team said that side-loading was a temporary distraction.

He told Reuters that what matters is the Apple In-App Payment System obligation.

Apple security claims are bogus, “he said. “Alternative payment solutions offered by Stripe or Adyen are just as safe as IAP,” said he.

These are the same practices that were targeted by the EU draft rules.

Apple took aim at the digital marketers with whom it has been at odds over new privacy controls that will limit their ability to track iPhone users.

The report stated that large companies that depend on digital advertising claim that they have suffered revenue losses due to privacy features and that sideloading apps may be an option to spread their apps to circumvent these protections.

Before Vestager’s draft regulations can be made law, they must first receive the approval of EU legislators and EU countries. This is likely to happen in 2023.

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.