U.S. Bills Allowing Sideloading Would Cause Consumers to Be Hit With 'Malware, Ransomware, and Scams,' Says Apple

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Nov 10, 2017
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U.S. bills that would require major changes to the App Store would ultimately cause consumers to be targeted with malware, ransomware, and scams, Apple's Senior Director of Government Affairs Timothy Powderly said in a letter that was sent today to the Senate Judiciary Committee and that was obtained by MacRumors.

Apple sent the letter as the Judiciary Committee prepares to consider the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open Markets Act, which were first introduced in June 2021. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act will be examined first, and if implemented, would prevent "dominant platforms" from "abusing their gatekeeper power" by favoring their own products and services over those of competitors.

In short, the legislation would enable sideloading, which Apple is stringently against. Sideloading would allow apps and content to be installed on iPhones and iPads through alternate app stores, bypassing Apple's App Store and the privacy measures that Apple has put in place.

Apple says that bills would "hurt competition and discourage innovation" by making it "much harder" to protect the privacy and security of personal devices in the United States.

These bills will reward those who have been irresponsible with users' data and empower bad actors who would target consumers with malware, ransomware, and scams. [...]

The bills put consumers in harm's way because of the real risk of privacy and security breaches. In addition to making privacy and security protections nearly impossible to defend, the bills would actually allow predators and scammers to side-step Apple's privacy and security protections completely. This circumvention is possible because the bills would mandate "sideloading," or the direct installation of software from the internet in a way that circumvents the privacy and security protections Apple has designed, including human review of every app and every app update.

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