Apple released, on Wednesday (13), a document refuting a European Union project that could force the company to allow the installation of software outside the App Store. The company said that if that happens, the number of cybercrime in its ecosystem could increase.
The European Competition Commission, led by the Danish Margrethe Vestager, is targeting anti-competitive practices mainly from technology brands. The entity’s idea is to make companies open to the practice of installing so-called “sideloading apps”, that is, third-party programs and other virtual stores.
“If Apple were forced to support sideloading, more harmful apps would hit users because it would be easier for cybercriminals to attack them — even if sideloading was only limited to third-party app stores,” says a snippet of the report.
The document, called “Building a Trusted Ecosystem for Millions of Apps”, is more than 30 pages long and presents similar conclusions to one that was released in June. Before that, the brand’s CEO, Tim Cook, had already said in an interview that the company’s ecosystem is closed to guarantee privacy and security to users.
The file released by Apple often cites Android. The text suggests that a possible permission of apps that are in the competitor’s online store could be harmful for those who have Apple devices. “Over the past four years, Android devices have had 15 to 47 times more malware infections than the iPhone,” he says.
Citing data from cybersecurity company Kaspersky, the report says that in 2020 nearly six million attacks were detected monthly on Android devices. “As Android supports sideloading, malware can spread on this platform more easily. Android smartphones are the most common mobile devices targeted by malware,” he says.
In addition to reminding about the possible danger of opening the system itself to other stores, the Cupertino giant also recalled that other modalities, such as downloading apps via browser, also pose a lot of risk, as cybercriminals often distribute malware in software that is downloaded thus.
Because of all this, Apple argues incisively that it does not take a positive view of the European Competition Commission’s proposal to force brands to open up their systems in this way.
“If regulations force platforms to support sideloading without any protection, the threat of malware, piracy and intellectual property theft on both platforms is likely to be greater,” he says.
The project headed by Vestager still needs the approval of the legislators of the European Union and of the countries of the bloc. That could be about two years from now.