Technology

Apple warns antitrust legislation could expose Americans to malware

Associated Press/Alan Diaz

Apple warned congressional lawmakers Tuesday that two antitrust bills that would rein in Big Tech could put Americans’ device security at risk. 

In the letter, obtained by 9to5Mac, Apple officials argued to the Senate Judiciary Committee that millions of Americans with iPhones would suffer malware attacks if the two pieces of legislation become law.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act would limit dominant companies from choosing their own products over their rivals, and the Open App Markets Act, which is focused predominantly on app stores, according to CNBC.

This legislation in particular would prevent companies with widely used app stores from requiring the developer to use the store’s in-app payment system, according to the outlet. 

Both bills would have significant implications for Google and Apple, two giants of Silicon Valley.

Apple said the bills would give way to sideloading, giving users the ability to download apps outside of Apple’s store. 

“The most glaring problem with these bills is the risk they pose to the privacy and security of Americans’ personal devices.”

“The bills put consumers in harm’s way because of the real risk of privacy and security breaches,” the letter said. “In addition to making privacy and security protections nearly impossible to defend, the bills would actually allow predators and scammers to sidestep Apple’s privacy and security protections completely.”

Apple has previously warned about sideloading, sharing research last fall that shows Android devices, which allow for sideloading, are between 15 and 47 times more exposed to malware infection.

But Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a proponent of this legislation, argued last year that one a few “gatekeepers” control the app marketplace, “wielding incredible power over which apps consumers can access.”

“By establishing new rules for app stores, this legislation levels the playing field and is an important step forward in ensuring an innovative and competitive app marketplace,” she added.

Apple has been scrutinized by app developers for its stringent control over its app store, and is currently in an ongoing lawsuit with Epic Games over purchases. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is poised to mark up the legislation this week. 

Tags Amy Klobuchar Antitrust Apple Big tech legislation

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