EU Plans to Ban Tech Companies From Pre-Installing Apps, Force Them to Share Data With Competitors

The EU is planning to implement wide-ranging legal measures to compel major tech companies to share data with competitors and give no preference to their own apps and services, according to a new report by the Financial Times.

European Commisssion

As part of its new Digital Services Act, the EU is planning to force the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Google to hand over customer data to smaller rivals in an effort to loosen the grip of big tech on consumers. A draft of the legislation stated that tech companies "shall not use data collected on the platform... for [their] own commercial activities... unless they [make it] accessible to business users active in the same commercial activities."

Likewise, "gatekeeper" platforms that wield their own online marketplaces, such as Apple's App Store, would be limited from using much of the data they collect. The draft states that "Gatekeepers shall not use data received from business users for advertising services for any other purpose other than advertising services."

Perhaps most controversially, big tech companies may be banned from preferring their own apps and services. As it stands, this means that companies will not be allowed to pre-install any of their own apps on devices, or force other companies to exclusively pre-install any of their software. There is also the ambition to allow users to uninstall any pre-installed apps.

The plan would be a major blow to Apple and Google, and result in fundamental changes to how operating systems ship and function. However, it is unclear how shipping an iPhone, for example, with no pre-installed Apple apps from would work, when presumably even the ‌App Store‌ itself could not be pre-installed as it would then be a "preferred" app. Downloading apps or using services of any kind on iOS and Android would have to be completely reworked to allow for user choice and third-party options at every level, with no preference for any of the device-maker's own apps and services at all.

The act contains over 30 paragraphs of specific prohibitions and obligations for tech giants, aimed at curbing their power and influence. The legislation is expected to be publicized in full by the end of this year, and Brussels reportedly hopes to lead global standards for the digital economy, improve competition, and prevent long-lasting antitrust cases.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Popular Stories

iOS 18 CarPlay Feature

iOS 18 Adds These 5 New Features to CarPlay

Thursday June 13, 2024 7:44 am PDT by
Apple did not mention CarPlay during its WWDC keynote this week, but iOS 18 includes a handful of new features for the in-car software. Overall, there is not a whole lot new for CarPlay on iOS 18, with changes seemingly limited to the Messages and Settings apps so far. Below, we recap everything new for CarPlay on iOS 18. New for CarPlay on iOS 18 1. Contact Photos in Messages App...
ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
maxresdefault

First Look at Messages via Satellite in iOS 18

Thursday June 13, 2024 11:29 am PDT by
Apple has been gradually expanding its suite of satellite connectivity features for iPhone, and iOS 18 brings a significant new one in the form of Messages via satellite. The feature allows users to send and receive iMessages and SMS texts, including emoji and Tapbacks, while out of range of cellular and Wi-Fi networks. CNET met up with Apple's senior director of platform product marketing,...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...
Generic iOS 18 Feature Real Mock

Your iPhone 15 Can Show the Time When It's Out of Battery in iOS 18

Wednesday June 12, 2024 2:57 pm PDT by
The iPhone has had a Power Reserve function that holds back a small amount of battery life to allow features like Find My and NFC unlocking to work even when your device has died, and in iOS 18, Apple seems to be improving the feature further for the iPhone 15 models. As demonstrated on Reddit, when the battery on an iPhone running iOS 18 is exhausted, the phone can continue to show the time ...

Top Rated Comments

breather Avatar
48 months ago
So I buy a new phone and there’s no apps on it? That’s..... kinda dumb.
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DEXTERITY Avatar
48 months ago
Horrible idea
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AustinIllini Avatar
48 months ago
Typical EU - Take a good idea and totally mangle it up until it is no longer viable.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PlayUltimate Avatar
48 months ago
Understand the idea of consumer choice. But how will any device be useable without any installed software. A computer without software is a paperweight.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GadgetBen Avatar
48 months ago
Ridiculous pen-pusher bureaucracy.

I’d rather have the apps I know preloaded (with the option to delete them) than be forced to add them to my lengthy download queue.

Glad the UK is leaving now. Hopefully we won’t be adopting this.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bornee35 Avatar
48 months ago
So the same EU that enacted GDPR compliance to protect user data is now going to force companies to share user data with any competitor who wants it?
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)