Apple’s new letter to US Senators underlines (once again) the dangers of sideloading

In February, the Open Markets Act, a bill that would force Apple to allow sideloading on iOS, advanced to the full Senate from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Apple has previously sent letters explaining how the bill could make way for malware on iOS. Now, the Cupertino-based tech giant is attacking the measure once again, reports AppleInsider.

Apple sends yet another letter claiming sideloading leads to malware danger

The letter that Apple sent comes in response to computer security expert Bruce Schneider, who considers Apple’s concerns about allowing sideloading on iOS to be “unfounded”. Apple’s response to this statement is the argument that sideloading is beneficial to malware producers.

According to Apple’s statement, sideloading can make malware producers trick users into downloading something malicious and therefore getting an easy way into an iPhone or iPad. Right now, hackers need to directly attack a device and break its security in order to gain access.

Additionally, Apple claims, the App Store’s review process creates a high barrier against the most common scams that are used to distribute malware.

On the other hand, Apple has accepted Schneider’s comment that state-sponsored hackers have the potential to directly break the iPhone’s security, but Cupertino underlines that such attacks are a “rare threat” to consumers. Apple adds that evidence shows third-party app stores are a key malware vector on platforms that support them.

The aforementioned letter was sent to Dick Durbin, the Senate Judiciary Committee chair, as well as Chuck Grassley. On top of that, the letter was also sent to antitrust subcommittee chair Amy Klobuchar, as well as Mike Lee.

That’s not the first letter the company has sent that argues this bill could harm critical privacy and security measures for iPhones and iPads. The previous letter stated that the Open Markets Act could harm user security and privacy. The letter claims that sideloading “would enable bad actors to evade Apple’s privacy and security protections by distributing apps without critical privacy and security checks.”

The Open Markets Act is the bill that could make Apple allow sideloading

The Open Markets Act is an antitrust bill that, if accepted, will apply restrictions to Apple, but also to Google and other tech giant companies.
The bill could ban policies that prevent sideloading, as well as force the acceptance of third-party payment systems (something that Apple, as many of you may probably know, also doesn’t really allow right now on iPhones or iPads). However, in February the proposed bill advanced to the full Senate, inching closer to reality despite Apple’s expressed concerns about it. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have approved the proposed legislation almost unanimously. The vote was 21-1, according to media reports. The only member of the Committee to vote against the proposed legislation in February was Sen. John Cornyn.

On top of that, the Open Markets Act will bar companies from requiring developers to use their first-party payment systems, as well as bans the practice of tech giants using non-public info to compete with smaller app developers.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, one of the bill’s main sponsors, stated that this legislation will establish new rules for app stores and will therefore help level the playing field. Additionally, the bill will ensure an innovative and competitive app marketplace.

Ever since the proposal of the Open Markets Act, Apple has been expressing concerns mainly with the issues that sideloading could cause to Apple users. Similarly to the letter sent this time, Apple has expressed its concerns that sideloading could lead to malware spreading on iPhones of users.

Another similar antitrust bill was also disputed by Apple and Google recently, with both companies detailing what could happen if the bill gets accepted as law.

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