Apple has released a paper titled A Threat Analysis of Sideloading for October 2021 addressing the EU draft rules that would force it to allow users to install software from outside its App Store. Apple noted that if it were forced to comply with the EU draft rules, malicious apps migrating to third-party stores and infecting consumer devices, while users would have less control over downloaded apps.
Reuters quoted the Coalition for App Fairness, which includes Spotify, Match Group, and Epic Games, dismissed Apple's arguments, who noted that built-in security measures such as encrypted data and antivirus programmes provide security to devices, not its App Store.
The coalition wants regulators to loosen Apple's grip on its App Store so they can bypass it to reach Apple's hundreds of millions of users and also to avoid paying commissions of up to 30 percent for purchases made in the Store.
"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," Apple in its report noted.
Apple has been a critic of EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager's proposed rules, which were announced last year in a bid to rein in Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet unit Google.
A lawyer for the group, Damien Geradin, said side-loading was just a distraction."What matters to us is the obligation imposed on developers whose apps sell digital goods and services to use Apple In-App payment system," he told Reuters. "On that Apple's security claims have no legs. Alternative payment solutions provided by Stripe, Adyen, or Paypal are as safe as IAP," he said.
Apple also took a swipe at digital advertisers with whom it is at loggerheads over its new privacy controls designed to limit them from tracking iPhone users.
"Large companies that rely on digital advertising allege that they have lost revenue due to these privacy features, and may therefore have an incentive to distribute their apps via sideloading specifically to bypass these protections," the report said. Vestager's draft rules need the green light from EU lawmakers and EU countries before they can become law, likely to be in 2023.
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