Upcoming EU Sideloading Bill Would 'Cripple the Privacy and Security Protections' iPhone Users Expect, Says Apple
The Digital Markets Act has been in development for some time and the finalized version that could be completed as soon as this month will allow for sideloading and alternate app store options. Apple will be required to allow customers in Europe to download apps outside of the app stores, and it will also allow developers to use alternate purchase methods.
Failure to comply with the law could cost Apple tens of billions of dollars, and Apple's efforts to fight the act have been unsuccessful. Back in November, Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi said that the sideloading mandated by the Digital Markets Act would open the "floodgates" to malware. The legislation would, said Federighi, "take away [the] choice of a more secure platform."
In a statement provided to The Wall Street Journal, Apple shared a similar sentiment.
Governments and international agencies world-wide have explicitly advised against sideloading requirements, which would cripple the privacy and security protections that users have come to expect."
European officials have been unswayed by Apple's privacy and security-related arguments, and in July, European Union digital competition chief Margrethe Vestager said that Apple should not use privacy excuses to limit competition. "Customers will not give up neither security nor privacy if they use another app store or if they sideload," she said.
The full scope of the sideloading provision in the bill is not yet known as final language could give Apple some room to limit the scope of sideloading. After the bill is finalized, it will be approved by the parliament and member states, and it would take effect early next year.