Apple capitulates to Russia laws requiring preinstalled software on iPhone, Mac

Posted:
in iOS edited March 16
Apple will preinstall mandatory apps on iPhones and other devices sold and activated in Russia, in order to comply with laws that will come into force on April 1.




Russia's lower house of parliament passed laws in November 2019 that requires the installation of government-approved apps on electronic devices sold in the country. While the introduction of the rules was postponed previously, it seems that Apple is preparing to comply with the legislation before its April introduction.

A "high-ranking source" in the Ministry of Digital Industry told Vedomosti that an agreement was reached with Apple over the app inclusions. Apple's regional office confirmed the agreement to the report.

Under the agreement, iPhones and iPads activated from April 1 onward will present a new screen to users, offering a selection of applications produced by Russian developers. Users will be able to select which apps they will allow or refuse to be installed via this screen as part of the set-up process.

All of the apps will be checked for compliance with Apple's privacy, security, and content standards, Apple added.

The Ministry is reportedly still discussing with Apple which apps need to be included in the list, which will likely evolve over time. "If alternative offers that are interesting to users and are rapidly gaining popularity appear on the market, they will be included in this selection and will also be offered for preinstallation," a source said.

This list of apps will include numerous popular items within the App Store, but specifically Russian-developed versions of major app categories. This is said to include browsers, antivirus, maps, messaging tools, a state services app, one for the Mir Pay payment system, and others.

Apps previously approved by the government for the list includes items from Yandex, Mail.ru Group, Kaspersky, Rostelecom, and Channel 1.

The move is a continuation of Apple's policy to follow local laws where required, including some that may be seen as a potential threat to privacy or security. This includes Apple's storing of citizen data on local servers within Russia, to comply with a 2014 law.


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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    Apple shoulda told Russia to go eff itself.  I am vehemently opposed to any government putting their will onto technology.
    ionicleparaeekerretrogustowilliamlondonanantksundaramkillroy
  • Reply 2 of 40
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 622member
    The title, "Apple agrees to Russia laws requiring preinstalled software" doesn't match the content:

    "Under the agreement, iPhones and iPads activated from April 1 onward will present a new screen to users, offering a selection of applications produced by Russian developers. Users will be able to select which apps they will allow or refuse to be installed via this screen as part of the set-up process."

    There is nothing preinstalled, if the body/content is correct.  Just an offer to install apps, which the user can refuse.
    Rayz2016dewmekingofsomewherehotbonobobStrangeDaysJWSCapplguykillroygc_ukfastasleep
  • Reply 3 of 40
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,468member
    This is probably what we in the U.S.will be facing if/when regulators force Apple to do something similar here. When you turn on your brand new iPhone or iPad you will be presented with a screen in which you must choose your browser, your email client, your music app, your message app, etc. Apple’s own apps will likely be forced down to the bottom of the list so as to be ‘fair’ and not anti-competitive.
    qwerty52applguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 40
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,093member
    Er….antivirus?  :|
    igorskyStrangeDayskillroyjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 40
    Apple shoulda told Russia to go eff itself.  I am vehemently opposed to any government putting their will onto technology.
    Given that all Apple products have to conform to government regulations around the world it would seem the end result of your stance would be Apple telling the world to take a flying leap and close shop. 
  • Reply 6 of 40
    Apple shoulda told Russia to go eff itself.  I am vehemently opposed to any government putting their will onto technology.
    I don't know. I understand what you mean, but why should any country allow a company to do whatever it wants in that country? I wouldn't want government mandated apps be preinstalled but offering them is something different. I'm not sure why a private company should ignore the laws in another country, especially one that seems aimed to grant local developers better access to consumers. But I agree that it's sort of an ugly thing. I think China will be a scarier test because they have established massive control of the internet within the country and Apple does a lot of business in China both in manufacturing and in selling to consumers. I suspect we will see more countries try things like this. I mean only a few months ago in this country the government was demanding companies be sold to even have access to consumers here so it's not like conservatives in this country are against government interferences in the tech sector. 
    genovelleradarthekatMplsPweirdsmithjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 40
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,517member
    And Ksapersky has been arguing strongly that he doesn't have any Russian-trap doors built into his software.
    In March 2015, Bloomberg accused Kaspersky of having close ties to Russian military and intelligence officials.[17] Kaspersky criticized the article in his blog, calling the coverage "sensationalist" and guilty of "exploiting paranoia" to "increase readership".[18]
    This bodes well for people who have opposed me when I said that Apple would shut down services rather than comply with some local jurisdiction. However this is still something that puts decision-power into the hands of the user, and that's probably not the fight Apple wants to take up right now. It reminds me of Apple's optional website tracking questions, but this time in reverse.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    nicholfd said:
    The title, "Apple agrees to Russia laws requiring preinstalled software" doesn't match the content:

    "Under the agreement, iPhones and iPads activated from April 1 onward will present a new screen to users, offering a selection of applications produced by Russian developers. Users will be able to select which apps they will allow or refuse to be installed via this screen as part of the set-up process."

    There is nothing preinstalled, if the body/content is correct.  Just an offer to install apps, which the user can refuse.
    Yep... AppleInsider likes clickbait headlines as much as any "news" outlet.  I miss the days of accurate reporting and lively discussion on this forum. Oh well... not my forum they can run it as they see fit.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 40
    qwerty52qwerty52 Posts: 311member
    Not good! In such a countries, even only refusing to install domestic apps in the set-up process, it’s enough for the government to consider this user as unreliable and suspicious.....because they will know it. 
    “Big Brother”......remember?
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 40
    lkrupp said:
    This is probably what we in the U.S.will be facing if/when regulators force Apple to do something similar here. When you turn on your brand new iPhone or iPad you will be presented with a screen in which you must choose your browser, your email client, your music app, your message app, etc. Apple’s own apps will likely be forced down to the bottom of the list so as to be ‘fair’ and not anti-competitive.

    No it is not the same. Read this article carefully again. It states to ALLOW software from Russian sources. It does not force preinstallation. It is exactly what Apple needs to learn that they must allow software from other sources and stores. This is also reason why I left iPhones after 5-6 years of using two at the same time and moved to Android.

    Russia wants to control also where software and data is stored so foreign countries do not control it. Linkedin refused that and so, Russiians in Rusiia cannot use Linkedin (it is blocked).

    There could several reasons for that and not all of them are bad as governement control. It could be also local privacy so, your data do not land in hands of global corporate Big Tech for analysis in China or who knows where or perhaps for censorship, restrictions or profiling people based on their personal biases. In EU GDRP prevents that and it applies also to citizens of EU living outside EU (something thta appies to me livingin the US and Facebook is already aware of that I might be PITA for them and their odd policies).
  • Reply 11 of 40
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    nicholfd said:
    The title, "Apple agrees to Russia laws requiring preinstalled software" doesn't match the content:

    "Under the agreement, iPhones and iPads activated from April 1 onward will present a new screen to users, offering a selection of applications produced by Russian developers. Users will be able to select which apps they will allow or refuse to be installed via this screen as part of the set-up process."

    There is nothing preinstalled, if the body/content is correct.  Just an offer to install apps, which the user can refuse.
    Yep... AppleInsider likes clickbait headlines as much as any "news" outlet.  I miss the days of accurate reporting and lively discussion on this forum. Oh well... not my forum they can run it as they see fit.
    Yup, sometimes I think of whitelisting them on my af blocker, then they do stuff like this and I think … maybe next year. 
    applguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 40
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,747member
    qwerty52 said:
    Not good! In such a countries, even only refusing to install domestic apps in the set-up process, it’s enough for the government to consider this user as unreliable and suspicious.....because they will know it. 
    “Big Brother”......remember?
    Any suggestion that Apple reports back to the Russian government which apps were installed and which were skipped?  That doesn't seem to be part of this story.
    Oferkillroymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 40
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,517member
    crowley said:
    qwerty52 said:
    Not good! In such a countries, even only refusing to install domestic apps in the set-up process, it’s enough for the government to consider this user as unreliable and suspicious.....because they will know it. 
    “Big Brother”......remember?
    Any suggestion that Apple reports back to the Russian government which apps were installed and which were skipped?  That doesn't seem to be part of this story.
    Very good point.
    Oferkillroy
  • Reply 14 of 40
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,734member
    The article clearly states that the user is presented with a CHOICE of what to install, and can refuse to install all.  WTF AI?  Sensationalist headlines with facts contradicting it puts you on the same level as clickbait sites.  You can/should do better.

    Seriously AI... I'm curious about the approval process for your headlines.  Is there someone at AI that is telling you guys to distort the headlines to generate clicks or are you just following the herd?  Genuine question and curiosity.
    edited March 16 StrangeDaysOferjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 40
    It’s also worth noting that they say the Apps will still need to be approved by Apple’s App Store team, this puts security in Apple’s hands which ultimately is probably what they care more about. They likely have no interest in propping up Facebook or Google against their Russian counter parts. 
    StrangeDaysOferkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 40
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,579member
    lkrupp said:
    This is probably what we in the U.S.will be facing if/when regulators force Apple to do something similar here. When you turn on your brand new iPhone or iPad you will be presented with a screen in which you must choose your browser, your email client, your music app, your message app, etc. Apple’s own apps will likely be forced down to the bottom of the list so as to be ‘fair’ and not anti-competitive.
    Nah, that's just in your head. You have a lot of doom fantasies for some reason. 
    fastasleep
  • Reply 17 of 40
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,579member

    qwerty52 said:
    Not good! In such a countries, even only refusing to install domestic apps in the set-up process, it’s enough for the government to consider this user as unreliable and suspicious.....because they will know it. 
    “Big Brother”......remember?
    Is that true tho? Do you think Apple is providing installation reports from iOS to the Russian government? That would be a shocking revelation. Color me skeptical.
    Oferwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 40
    qwerty52qwerty52 Posts: 311member
    crowley said:
    qwerty52 said:
    Not good! In such a countries, even only refusing to install domestic apps in the set-up process, it’s enough for the government to consider this user as unreliable and suspicious.....because they will know it. 
    “Big Brother”......remember?
    Any suggestion that Apple reports back to the Russian government which apps were installed and which were skipped?  That doesn't seem to be part of this story.

    No, no, this is misunderstanding! 

    I am very, very far from the idea that Apple is going to report back to the Russians. 
    My concerns are, that with the  set-up process, the users are forced to make choices.
    The developers of the domestic apps (who are state backed, otherwise they will never appear in the choice list), would be able to know who is using their apps and respectively who don’t, what makes the users vulnerable in countries without democracy.
    Ofer
  • Reply 19 of 40
    qwerty52qwerty52 Posts: 311member

    qwerty52 said:
    Not good! In such a countries, even only refusing to install domestic apps in the set-up process, it’s enough for the government to consider this user as unreliable and suspicious.....because they will know it. 
    “Big Brother”......remember?
    Is that true tho? Do you think Apple is providing installation reports from iOS to the Russian government? That would be a shocking revelation. Color me skeptical.
    No, my post has nothing to do with Apple. Het is misunderstanding.

    Please read above.

    Ofer
  • Reply 20 of 40
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,747member
    qwerty52 said:
    crowley said:
    qwerty52 said:
    Not good! In such a countries, even only refusing to install domestic apps in the set-up process, it’s enough for the government to consider this user as unreliable and suspicious.....because they will know it. 
    “Big Brother”......remember?
    Any suggestion that Apple reports back to the Russian government which apps were installed and which were skipped?  That doesn't seem to be part of this story.

    No, no, this is misunderstanding! 

    I am very, very far from the idea that Apple is going to report back to the Russians. 
    My concerns are, that with the  set-up process, the users are forced to make choices.
    The developers of the domestic apps (who are state backed, otherwise they will never appear in the choice list), would be able to know who is using their apps and respectively who don’t, what makes the users vulnerable in countries without democracy.
    How would they know who don't?

    They might not even know who do if Apple's privacy protections do their job.
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