Apple he must not use privacy or security as an “excuse” for his anticompetitive behavior. These are the words spoken by the Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, during an interview he gives to Reuters. The reference is to the inability to download iOS apps from alternative stores, prohibiting the so-called sideloading.
Digital Markets Act: fine dell’App Store?
The Digital Markets Act (Law on digital markets) provides a series of obligations and prohibitions for the “gatekeepers”, ie the owners of the “large online platforms that exercise an access control function“. For example, the European Commission’s proposal envisages the obligation to guarantee the interoperability of services and above all the prohibition of giving one’s services a favorable treatment compared to those of the competition.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in mid-June that the current proposal could force sideloading on iOS. The Cupertino company will never respect this obligation because it would mean “destroy iPhone security“. The question was further clarified with a document recently published on Apple’s privacy site.
Margrethe Vestager believes that privacy and security are very important, but they should not be used as an “excuse” to hinder competition:
The important thing here is, of course, that they aren’t a shield against the competition, because I think users won’t be giving up on either security or privacy if they use another app store or sideload.
Vestager however said that the Digital Markets Act can be changed, so a solution can be found. Vestager finally praised the ATT (App Tracking Transparency) functionality, introduced with iOS 14.5, which allows users to accept or not the tracking by apps.