Apple stresses security risks of complying with EU's Digital Markets Act

Posted:
in iOS edited March 1

Apple has published a whitepaper detailing how it says it is working to protect EU users and emphasizing the risks of opening up the iPhone to rival App Stores.

Apple's whitepaper details its compliance with the EU
Apple's whitepaper details its compliance with the EU



To comply with the new Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the European Union, Apple must for the first time allow third-party app stores onto the iPhone. It has previously published a whitepaper strenuously protesting against the dangers of this side-loading, and now it's repeating that disagreement, saying it has to comply, but is working to protect EU users.

"By requiring that all apps on iPhone be distributed through a single trusted source, the App Store, we were able to accomplish our goal of protecting users more effectively than any other platform," says Apple in its new whitepaper. "While our efforts to protect users and developers alike are never complete, iOS has never allowed a widespread consumer malware attack on users-which is exceptional for a 17-year-old, modern computing platform."

"Starting this year, the European Union's new Digital Markets Act (DMA) requires us to take a new approach in our work to serve our EU users," it continues. "This required us to change the uniquely successful approach that we've employed to protect users' security and privacy and keep them safe."

"The new options we're introducing to comply with the DMA necessarily mean we will not be able to protect users in the same way," it says. "To keep offering users the most secure, most privacy-protecting, and safest platform -- in line with what users expect from Apple -- we've designed and implemented new safeguards that will help to protect and inform them."

"While the changes the DMA requires will inevitably cause a gap between the protections that Apple users outside of the EU can rely on and the protections available to users in the EU moving forward," continues Apple, "we are working tirelessly to make sure iPhone remains the safest of any phones available in the EU by reducing the risks introduced by these necessary changes-even though we cannot entirely eliminate such risks."

The almost 14,000-word whitepaper has similar criticisms on practically every one of its 32 pages. The pages list how third-party apps and app stores will now be notarized and at least some reviewing done of them, but not including any checking to do with problematic content such as pornography, or piracy apps.

"Let's be clear," it concludes. "Apple builds multiple layers of security into its devices and systems. We will do everything possible to reduce these risks. But for all the reasons explained, the risks will increase."

The whitepaper does not touch on issues associated with Apple's fees for sales through rival app stores. Those fees have been heavily criticized by rivals.

What the Digital Markets Act entails



The European Union's Digital Markets Act has been years in the making, and is key to the EU's aims of policing Big Tech firms.

In 2022, once the DMA had been approved by the European Council, the EU began a process of determining which firms fit what it describes as being gatekeepers. These are companies who have an online platform with over 45 million active users monthly, and also at least a 75 billion Euro market captalization.

Gatekeeper firms are subject to regulations such as the one regarding the App Store, where they must allow third-party alternatives. There are also issues around messaging services being required to interoperate with rivals, though Apple's iMessage has escaped that through not reaching the gatekeeper threshold.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,390member

    Apple has published a whitepaper detailing how it says it is working to protect EU users and emphasizing the risks of opening up the iPhone to rival App Stores.

    "By requiring that all apps on iPhone be distributed through a single trusted source, the App Store, we were able to accomplish our goal of protecting users more effectively than any other platform," says Apple in its new whitepaper. "While our efforts to protect users and developers alike are never complete, iOS has never allowed a widespread consumer malware attack on users-which is exceptional for a 17-year-old, modern computing platform."
    Technically not true. Apple's AppStore is better at keeping malware at bay than large stores on other platforms, but XcodeGhost Malware Infected 100+ Million iOS Users. "Only a single-instance" rather than "Never" is more accurate.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    gatorguy said:

    Apple has published a whitepaper detailing how it says it is working to protect EU users and emphasizing the risks of opening up the iPhone to rival App Stores.

    "By requiring that all apps on iPhone be distributed through a single trusted source, the App Store, we were able to accomplish our goal of protecting users more effectively than any other platform," says Apple in its new whitepaper. "While our efforts to protect users and developers alike are never complete, iOS has never allowed a widespread consumer malware attack on users-which is exceptional for a 17-year-old, modern computing platform."
    Technically not true. Apple's AppStore is better at keeping malware at bay than large stores on other platforms, but XcodeGhost Malware Infected 100+ Million iOS Users. "Only a single-instance" rather than "Never" is more accurate.

    In addition, the fact that an infection isn't "widespread" doesn't make it insignificant.  A single instance of an app that steals $100,000 from each of 1,000 people is just as significant in my mind as an app that steals $1 from each of 100,000,000 people.
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 8
    As is always the case such as buying using iOS over Android, iPhone users also have a choice of just sticking with the App Store or purchasing from a third party store.  I’ll stick with the App Store, but those who purchase from third party stores will be aware of the potential risk and if are victims of those choices, won’t be able to come back to Apple and complain.  Choice is good. Just don’t choose poorly ;)
    dewmeavon b7muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonjony0
  • Reply 4 of 8
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,390member
    BirderGuy said:
    As is always the case such as buying using iOS over Android, iPhone users also have a choice of just sticking with the App Store or purchasing from a third party store.  I’ll stick with the App Store, but those who purchase from third party stores will be aware of the potential risk and if are victims of those choices, won’t be able to come back to Apple and complain.  Choice is good. Just don’t choose poorly ;)
    Good points
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 8
    BirderGuy said:
    As is always the case such as buying using iOS over Android, iPhone users also have a choice of just sticking with the App Store or purchasing from a third party store.  I’ll stick with the App Store, but those who purchase from third party stores will be aware of the potential risk and if are victims of those choices, won’t be able to come back to Apple and complain.  Choice is good. Just don’t choose poorly ;)
    I do think that you are mistaken about users being aware of the potential risks by using 3rd party app stores and sideloading. I do think that Apple will catch a lot of flak when people are scammed by the forementioned, like they did when (not particularly intelligent) parents entered credit card information into their children's phones with freemium games and tousands of €/$/£ were drawn, and of course Apple were blamed.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 8
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,903member
    Sigsgaard said:
    BirderGuy said:
    As is always the case such as buying using iOS over Android, iPhone users also have a choice of just sticking with the App Store or purchasing from a third party store.  I’ll stick with the App Store, but those who purchase from third party stores will be aware of the potential risk and if are victims of those choices, won’t be able to come back to Apple and complain.  Choice is good. Just don’t choose poorly ;)
    I do think that you are mistaken about users being aware of the potential risks by using 3rd party app stores and sideloading. I do think that Apple will catch a lot of flak when people are scammed by the forementioned, like they did when (not particularly intelligent) parents entered credit card information into their children's phones with freemium games and tousands of €/$/£ were drawn, and of course Apple were blamed.
    Swings and roundabouts. 

    These are two completely different things. 

    Security considerations deal with security. 

    Competition considerations deal with competition. 

    You can argue that consumers are not aware of how many restrictions Apple imposes on them without informing them from the get go. 

    Awareness could be important in both contexts. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 8
    avon b7 said:
    Sigsgaard said:
    BirderGuy said:
    As is always the case such as buying using iOS over Android, iPhone users also have a choice of just sticking with the App Store or purchasing from a third party store.  I’ll stick with the App Store, but those who purchase from third party stores will be aware of the potential risk and if are victims of those choices, won’t be able to come back to Apple and complain.  Choice is good. Just don’t choose poorly ;)
    I do think that you are mistaken about users being aware of the potential risks by using 3rd party app stores and sideloading. I do think that Apple will catch a lot of flak when people are scammed by the forementioned, like they did when (not particularly intelligent) parents entered credit card information into their children's phones with freemium games and tousands of €/$/£ were drawn, and of course Apple were blamed.
    Swings and roundabouts. 

    These are two completely different things. 

    Security considerations deal with security. 

    Competition considerations deal with competition. 

    You can argue that consumers are not aware of how many restrictions Apple imposes on them without informing them from the get go. 

    Awareness could be important in both contexts. 
    Yes, the examples are completely different, but the potential outcome is the same. That is, people blamed Apple when they allowed their children to spend wildly on in-app purchases. The comparison being made is that people will also blame Apple when/if they download an app from a third-party store that then causes them trouble.
    williamlondontmaywatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 8

    Here’s a dark scenario:

    1. Apple launches iOS 17.4
    2. Epic launches its own App Store in the EU, featuring Fortnite — arguably the most popular free game ever.
    3. After a 0.1 second hesitation, gazillions of kids and other gamers in the EU side-load Fortnite.
    4. Inspired by Epic’s move, other game developers follow suit.
    5. Things go sideways — by accident or design.
    6. All gamers in the EU conclude that Apple is nowadays as vulnerable and insecure as any other brand.
    7. The whole world adopts this “conclusion”. You might as well buy the cheepest crap out there.


    And that’s how you devalue a brand built on safety and security.

    edited March 4 jony0
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