THE iPhone (iOS) offers apps for infinite uses and possibilities, as long as you install them only from the App Store. Despite criticism, this limitation was defended by the CEO from Apple, Tim Cookthis Thursday (12): the executive criticized sideloading in a speech made during a privacy event.
The executive’s speech took place during an annual conference of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). The speech permeated some issues defended by Apple a few years ago. But the point that drew the most attention was the criticism of sideloading. That is, the possibility of installing apps outside an authorized store, as happens on Android today.
CEO Complains About Laws Requiring Sideloading
The outcry came to a head when Tim Cook said he is “deeply concerned about regulations that would undermine privacy and security in the service of some other objective.” He did not mention specific legislation. But Apple’s CEO was talking about the European Union’s Digital Marketplaces Act and the United States’ Open Applications Market Act.
The complaint is aimed at both legislations due to passages that talk about the sideloading requirement. If laws are passed with this requirement, Apple would have no choice but to allow apps to be installed on iPhone and iPad from other sources. But the executive sees this alternative with different eyes:
“This means that data-hungry companies could evade our privacy rules and once again track our users against their will,” he justified his position. “It would also give bad actors a way around the comprehensive security protections we put in place, putting them in direct contact with our users, and we’ve already seen the vulnerability created in other companies’ devices.”
After all, is this all an exaggeration or not?
Cook defends company policy at other times. For the executive, if the company has to allow “uncontrolled applications on the iPhone”, the consequences can be profound. “And when we see that, we feel an obligation to speak up and ask policymakers to work with us to advance goals that I truly believe we share, without undermining privacy in the process.”
In fact, Apple’s CEO is right on some points. In one example, he talks about Android apps installed by external sources that resulted in ransomware attacks. It is also important to remember the friction between Facebook and the manufacturer due to the App Tracking Transparency (ATT), a feature released in iOS 14.5 that restricts data collection on the iPhone and iPad system.
Does the control help? Yes, both in terms of privacy and security and in terms of quality. On the other hand, just because the apps are in a single store with a lot of control doesn’t mean everything will be inviolable. After all, even Apple’s own applications have already faced serious bugs, such as the flaw that allowed “spying” on contacts via FaceTime.
And it is always important to remember: there is no such thing as 100% safe technology.
Tim Cook: Privacy is a “fundamental human right”
Tim Cook covered other matters besides sideloading at the conference. Apple’s CEO defended that privacy is a “fundamental human right”. The executive also stated that the company maintains “a commitment to protect people from an industrial data complex built on a surveillance foundation”.
The problem is that discourse is not always aligned with practice. In May, the executive defended the relationship between Apple and China after the company was accused of handing over Chinese data to the government. At the time, Tim Cook stated that the iPhone must respect local laws:
“We ship to China the same iPhone that we ship to the rest of the world. It has the same encryption, the same iMessage, and apart from the iCloud part, it’s the exact same product,” Apple’s CEO said during a hearing.
With information: ArsTechnica and TechCrunch