Apple shouldn't use privacy & security to stave off competition, EU antitrust head warns

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2
Responding to comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook in June, European Union competition chief Margrethe Vestager said that Apple shouldn't use privacy and security concerns to stifle competition on the App Store.

Credit: WikiMedia Commons
Credit: WikiMedia Commons


Vestager, the European Commission's executive vice president, has proposed regulations that could force Apple to allow alternate app stores. Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke out against the proposal, stating that they could threaten the privacy and security of iOS.

In an interview with Reuters, Vestager agreed with Cook that privacy and security are important factors for consumers, but warned the Cupertino tech giant against using concerns about them to fend off competition.

"I think privacy and security is of paramount importance to everyone," Vestager said. "The important thing here is, of course, that it's not a shield against competition, because I think customers will not give up neither security nor privacy if they use another app store or if they sideload."

Vestager added that she was open to changes in her proposals, which need input from EU member states and lawmakers before it can become law.

"I think that it is possible to find solutions to this," Vestager said.

Sideloading, or app distribution outside of the official iOS App Store, has also been a talking point in antitrust debates in the U.S. -- including during the Epic Games v. Apple trial. Apple in June released a report describing why it's against sideloading on its own platforms.

The EU competition chief told Reuters that recent privacy changes to iOS, including App Tracking Transparency, aren't currently an antitrust target. In fact, she praised Apple's new privacy controls.

"As I have said, I think actually several times, that it is a good thing when providers give us the service that we can easily set our preferences if we want to be tracked outside the use of an app or not as long as it's the same condition for everyone," Vestager added. "So far, we have no reason to believe that this is not the case for Apple."

Keep up with everything Apple in the weekly AppleInsider Podcast -- and get a fast news update from AppleInsider Daily. Just say, "Hey, Siri," to your HomePod mini and ask for these podcasts, and our latest HomeKit Insider episode too.If you want an ad-free main AppleInsider Podcast experience, you can support the AppleInsider podcast by subscribing for $5 per month through Apple's Podcasts app, or via Patreon if you prefer any other podcast player.
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,521member
    In an interview with Reuters, Vestager agreed with Cook that privacy and security are important factors for consumers, but warned the Cupertino tech giant against using concerns about them to fend off competition.
    I guess the health and safety of drugs shouldn't be a motivating factor of drug companies either. 
    killroyviclauyycthtmagman1979fotoformatbadmonkbshankwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 91
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,755member
    In an interview with Reuters, Vestager agreed with Cook that privacy and security are important factors for consumers, but warned the Cupertino tech giant against using concerns about them to fend off competition.
    I guess the health and safety of drugs shouldn't be a motivating factor of drug companies either. 
    I think a competition authority might say something like: health and safety of drugs are very important, but you don't get an indefinite patent because of it.  You can't FUD your way to a competitive advantage.
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahgdysamoria
  • Reply 3 of 91
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    In an interview with Reuters, Vestager agreed with Cook that privacy and security are important factors for consumers, but warned the Cupertino tech giant against using concerns about them to fend off competition.
    I guess the health and safety of drugs shouldn't be a motivating factor of drug companies either. 

    I think what she’s saying is that you must make your OS more open to scams and malware to level the playing field. 

    The last time the EU got involved in stuff it knows nothing about, we ended up with a page full of questions and checkboxes in front of every website. 
    edited July 2 JWSCapplguyequality72521killroyviclauyycmwhitemagman1979JanNLfotoformatdysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 91
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,755member
    Rayz2016 said:
    In an interview with Reuters, Vestager agreed with Cook that privacy and security are important factors for consumers, but warned the Cupertino tech giant against using concerns about them to fend off competition.
    I guess the health and safety of drugs shouldn't be a motivating factor of drug companies either. 

    I think what she’s saying is that you must make your OS more open to scams and malware to level the playing field. 

    The last time the EU got involved in stuff it knows nothing about, we ended up with a page full of questions and checkboxes in front of every website. 
    Hyperbole much?  Most websites have a banner with an Accept Cookies button and nothing more.  Also, we* also got much greater rights over our data, and much greater responsibility placed on the companies that hold our data.  Tim Cook came out in favour of the GDPR.

    * by which I mean EU citizens, which I sadly am no longer counted among, but some of the effect remains.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 91
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,472member
    crowley said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    In an interview with Reuters, Vestager agreed with Cook that privacy and security are important factors for consumers, but warned the Cupertino tech giant against using concerns about them to fend off competition.
    I guess the health and safety of drugs shouldn't be a motivating factor of drug companies either. 

    I think what she’s saying is that you must make your OS more open to scams and malware to level the playing field. 

    The last time the EU got involved in stuff it knows nothing about, we ended up with a page full of questions and checkboxes in front of every website. 
    Hyperbole much?  Most websites have a banner with an Accept Cookies button and nothing more.  Also, we* also got much greater rights over our data, and much greater responsibility placed on the companies that hold our data.  Tim Cook came out in favour of the GDPR.

    * by which I mean EU citizens, which I sadly am no longer counted among, but some of the effect remains.
    Well, you can always move to the EU and renounce your UK citizenship.
    JWSCkillroyequality72521mwhiteelijahgmagman1979williamlondonbshankjony0
  • Reply 6 of 91
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,176member
    In an interview with Reuters, Vestager agreed with Cook that privacy and security are important factors for consumers, but warned the Cupertino tech giant against using concerns about them to fend off competition.
    I guess the health and safety of drugs shouldn't be a motivating factor of drug companies either. 
    "I think privacy and security is of paramount importance to everyone," Vestager said. "The important thing here is, of course, that it's not a shield against competition, because I think customers will not give up neither security nor privacy if they use another app store or if they sideload."

    In case you don't understand what she was saying it's that privacy and security and having access to 3rd party app stores does not need to be mutually exclusive in her opinion.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 91
    killroykillroy Posts: 161member
    The BS is strong in the EU.If a 3rd party app from a  3rd party store bricks you phone, don't call Apple.
    edited July 2 KTRmagman1979JanNLwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 91
    earthkidearthkid Posts: 26member
    EU antitrust head is stupid. why would I go load my app from the side load that's not App Store? what you want me to get virus? or you want my information to get out to the public? I don't think EU antitrust head is in favor of apple or consumers at large. I think someone pay him/her to attack apple. why shouldn't apple use privacy and security as an advantage to lore customers in.  I don't get what is EU antitrust head trying to say or do? Irather have my privacy and security than anything other things. and every other company is having almost the samething so you have to do what ever to stand out and if that's mean use privacy and security as the advertisement then why not. I don't see anything wrong with it.
    edited July 2 mwhitemagman1979DogpersonJanNLwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 91
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,201member
    "I think privacy and security is of paramount importance to everyone," Vestager said. "The important thing here is, of course, that it's not a shield against competition, because I think customers will not give up neither security nor privacy if they use another app store or if they sideload."

    Translation: "I don't know how any of this works, but because I say it's not a problem it won't be a problem."

    Once again, the competition here lives at the device level.

    1. If you want a device that allows you to side load apps, There is a robust cornucopia of devices available that run on various iterations of Android.

    2. If you want a device that prevents side-loading apps as an increased security measure built into the system, you can buy an Apple device.

    If Apple is forced to adopt an open-platform OS model, then option #2 disappears. That's less consumer choice, not more.
    robin hubermagman1979DogpersonJanNLwilliamlondonfotoformatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 91
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,896member
    Privacy and security are of “paramount importance to everyone” but Vestager isn’t inclined to investigate/admit how 3rd party app stores jeopardize that. Profits for the EU are even more paramount.
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 91
    yojimbo007yojimbo007 Posts: 1,144member
    Pure evidance that she has no clue what she is talking about! … 
    Facts are facts Vestager… reality is reality… u cant wish them away just because ‘u dont think so‘ !
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 91
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,478member
    Is there some European law preventing Apple’s competitors from using privacy and security as features?
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 13 of 91
    pwrmacpwrmac Posts: 9member
    Verstager is an idiot. What should she choose: Privacy and security or malware and data grabbers/collectors?
    magman1979JanNLwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 91
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,176member
    Is there some European law preventing Apple’s competitors from using privacy and security as features?
    LOL! +1
    mwhitemagman1979jony0
  • Reply 15 of 91
    KTRKTR Posts: 167member
    When these law makers realize they made a mistake.  Then the call upon the tech companies to help undo their fuck up
    magman1979skippingrockwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 91
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,331member
    Speaking of competition, security and the EU .........

    I recently paid over $700 for two duplicate keys (Smart keys) for my wife's Mercedes.

    It seems for security reasons, the software needed to make a Mercedes smart key is proprietary and only a Mercedes dealer has access to it. So even the most well equipped locksmith specializing in making duplicate auto smart keys, can not make one for a Mercedes.

    Not only this, for security reasons, not even the Mercedes dealers keep any blank keys in stock. They have to order the key from the factory and this might be from Germany. So it's a 3 to 7 days wait, after paying for the order. 

    Plus one need to show ID and registration in order to make a duplicate Mercedes key. Even if you have the original key in hand. And the owner might even have to drive the Mercedes in, if the dealer needs access to the car computer in order to program the key. Mercedes is very concern about security. 

    And the chip in a Mercedes key is also proprietary and can only be flashed once. So even if one buy a used key of the same year and model off eBay for less than $30, the key can not be reprogramed to work on another Mercedes. This even if one got access to the software and the know how.

    So it cost me $350 to program a new duplicate key at a Mercedes dealer and $175 for the blank key. Which took 5 days to arrive. I had two keys made as i would not need to pay for the the $350 programing on the second key (if made at the same time). All this for a Mercedes my wife bought from a friend, for less than $1000 (That came with only one key.).  

    I would like to see Vestager look into how Mercedes, which is HQed in Germany, is limiting competition by only having one source (a Mercedes dealer) from where Mercedes owners can buy keys for their Mercedes. And at a cost that is more than twice what most other car makers charges. All for the reason of ..... "security".

    Using the definition of a "monopoly" some are applying to Apple with iOS users, Mercedes can be said to have a "monopoly" with Mercedes owners as they only have one choice from where they can buy their Mercedes keys from.    


    elijahgDogpersonJanNLbadmonkauxiowatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 17 of 91
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,332member
    crowley said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    In an interview with Reuters, Vestager agreed with Cook that privacy and security are important factors for consumers, but warned the Cupertino tech giant against using concerns about them to fend off competition.
    I guess the health and safety of drugs shouldn't be a motivating factor of drug companies either. 

    I think what she’s saying is that you must make your OS more open to scams and malware to level the playing field. 

    The last time the EU got involved in stuff it knows nothing about, we ended up with a page full of questions and checkboxes in front of every website. 
    Hyperbole much?  Most websites have a banner with an Accept Cookies button and nothing more.  Also, we* also got much greater rights over our data, and much greater responsibility placed on the companies that hold our data.  Tim Cook came out in favour of the GDPR.

    * by which I mean EU citizens, which I sadly am no longer counted among, but some of the effect remains.
    The GDPR banners are *really* annoying. Especially since on by default "legitimate interest" is now a loophole so if you want to block the cookies, you have to manually turn that off for many of the sites you visit.

    I have a Safari extension that hides the modal <div> so no more badly implemented EU guff. Whilst I agree with the GDPR, if the EU had any foresight they would have realised how annoying these popups would be, and they would have legislated on several web-related aspects to combat it. Of course we have to remember Eurocrats are mostly politicians who were rejected by their own country's citizens, failures and has-beens who are of course gladly welcomed by their deficient brethren into the EU Commission's bosom; so we really can't expect much.

    Anyway, those aspects:
    • Not allowed "legitimate interest" as a workaround to enable third party cookies by default
    • Disallowed websites from presenting a modal window/banner/popup, forcing users to fiddle with settings (sometimes with literally 100+ third party companies) before the site allows access, and therefore
    • Defaulting everyone to nothing but essential cookies
    • Enabled access to enable third party cookies though a non-modal button, for those in the unenviable category of actually wanting third party cookies

    But of course they didn't, and here we are. 

    Also, the UK voted to leave the EU 5 years ago, get over it.
    magman1979JanNL
  • Reply 18 of 91
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,904member
    davidw said:
    Speaking of competition, security and the EU .........

    I recently paid over $700 for two duplicate keys (Smart keys) for my wife's Mercedes.

    It seems for security reasons, the software needed to make a Mercedes smart key is proprietary and only a Mercedes dealer has access to it. So even the most well equipped locksmith specializing in making duplicate auto smart keys, can not make one for a Mercedes.

    Not only this, for security reasons, not even the Mercedes dealers keep any blank keys in stock. They have to order the key from the factory and this might be from Germany. So it's a 3 to 7 days wait, after paying for the order. 

    Plus one need to show ID and registration in order to make a duplicate Mercedes key. Even if you have the original key in hand. And the owner might even have to drive the Mercedes in, if the dealer needs access to the car computer in order to program the key. Mercedes is very concern about security. 

    And the chip in a Mercedes key is also proprietary and can only be flashed once. So even if one buy a used key of the same year and model off eBay for less than $30, the key can not be reprogramed to work on another Mercedes. This even if one got access to the software and the know how.

    So it cost me $350 to program a new duplicate key at a Mercedes dealer and $175 for the blank key. Which took 5 days to arrive. I had two keys made as i would not need to pay for the the $350 programing on the second key (if made at the same time). All this for a Mercedes my wife bought from a friend, for less than $1000 (That came with only one key.).  

    I would like to see Vestager look into how Mercedes, which is HQed in Germany, is limiting competition by only having one source (a Mercedes dealer) from where Mercedes owners can buy keys for their Mercedes. And at a cost that is more than twice what most other car makers charges. All for the reason of ..... "security".

    Using the definition of a "monopoly" some are applying to Apple with iOS users, Mercedes can be said to have a "monopoly" with Mercedes owners as they only have one choice from where they can buy their Mercedes keys from.    


    An obvious and easy first step:

    https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/selling-in-eu/competition-between-businesses/anti-competitive-behaviour/index_en.htm
  • Reply 19 of 91
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,331member
    avon b7 said:
    davidw said:
    Speaking of competition, security and the EU .........

    I recently paid over $700 for two duplicate keys (Smart keys) for my wife's Mercedes.

    It seems for security reasons, the software needed to make a Mercedes smart key is proprietary and only a Mercedes dealer has access to it. So even the most well equipped locksmith specializing in making duplicate auto smart keys, can not make one for a Mercedes.

    Not only this, for security reasons, not even the Mercedes dealers keep any blank keys in stock. They have to order the key from the factory and this might be from Germany. So it's a 3 to 7 days wait, after paying for the order. 

    Plus one need to show ID and registration in order to make a duplicate Mercedes key. Even if you have the original key in hand. And the owner might even have to drive the Mercedes in, if the dealer needs access to the car computer in order to program the key. Mercedes is very concern about security. 

    And the chip in a Mercedes key is also proprietary and can only be flashed once. So even if one buy a used key of the same year and model off eBay for less than $30, the key can not be reprogramed to work on another Mercedes. This even if one got access to the software and the know how.

    So it cost me $350 to program a new duplicate key at a Mercedes dealer and $175 for the blank key. Which took 5 days to arrive. I had two keys made as i would not need to pay for the the $350 programing on the second key (if made at the same time). All this for a Mercedes my wife bought from a friend, for less than $1000 (That came with only one key.).  

    I would like to see Vestager look into how Mercedes, which is HQed in Germany, is limiting competition by only having one source (a Mercedes dealer) from where Mercedes owners can buy keys for their Mercedes. And at a cost that is more than twice what most other car makers charges. All for the reason of ..... "security".

    Using the definition of a "monopoly" some are applying to Apple with iOS users, Mercedes can be said to have a "monopoly" with Mercedes owners as they only have one choice from where they can buy their Mercedes keys from.    


    An obvious and easy first step:

    https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/selling-in-eu/competition-between-businesses/anti-competitive-behaviour/index_en.htm
    That link is to part of a site and mainly for businesses to report anti-competitive behavior of another business, not for the average consumers to report harm by anti-competitive behavior of a business. That much is plainly obvious from just reading the URL link you posted, let alone once you're on the site. Plus i'm not in the EU.

    Now if I were a locksmith in the EU, that link might be of help.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 91
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,870member
    "I think privacy and security is of paramount importance to everyone," Vestager said. "The important thing here is, of course, that it's not a shield against competition, because I think customers will not give up neither security nor privacy if they use another app store or if they sideload."

    So who gets to approve these alternate app stores and the apps that are in them? Will these app stores also be liable for any damage caused to the iPhone? 
    JanNLdysamoriawatto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.