Tim Cook lambasted the proposed policy which will force Apple to allow sideloading apps on iPhone. He gave a lengthy speech at the IAPP in favor of restricting app sideloading on iPhones. The main reason for Tim Cook’s IAPP outburst is rooted in the Digital Markets Act (DMA) created by the EU.
Tim Cook IAPP Summit Speech Highlights
According to Tim Cook’s IAPP speech, “The fight to protect privacy is not an easy one, but it is one of the most essential battles of our time.” He began by highlighting the fact that Apple is concerned about users’ privacy above everything. He explained that App Store has a benchmark for allowing only those apps which deem worthy of their high standards. These apps are meticulously vetted before going live on the App Store. Apple makes an extensive effort in checking apps and ensuring that none of them flout any data privacy regulations.
Tim Cook further added that the Digital Markets Act (DMA) proposed by EC and EU could undermine Apple’s efforts. If Apple is forced to allow app sideloading on iPhones and iPad, it would open the door for malware. Unregulated app sideloading would expose the iPhone users to greater risk which is prevalent in other mobile OS.
Tim Cook at the IAPP summit cited an example of how many Android users landed in a predicament during the pandemic. Many of these users sideloaded apps that offered the Covid-19 tracking feature. But these tracker apps were nothing but ransomware disguised as a Covid-19 tracker app. It is one of the few reasons why Apple doesn’t allow app sideloading even today.
What is the Digital Markets Act (DMA)?
Digital Markets Act (DMA) is a regulation that could force tech giants like Apple to allow sideloading. The reason behind this act is to broaden avenues for app developers who want to work outside of the App Store ecosystem.
Apple charges a 30% commission for hosting apps on the App Store. Moreover, it doesn’t allow app sideloading from third-party sources, which forces the app developers to come to App Store.
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Digital Markets Act (DMA) is trying to level the playing field but as per Tim Cook’s IAPP summit appearance, he appears infuriated with the idea. It would obviously hurt App Store revenue and bring it on par with Android which allows sideloading apps. The Act also proposes that Apple should not force-install apps on their devices and allow payment of apps from other payment gateways.