Apple Says Cybercrime Risks to Rise if they Allow Others' Software

Apple warned that EU draft rules, that would force it to allow users to install software from outside its App Store, will boost the risk of cybercrime. But the Coalition for App Fairness dismissed these arguments, underlining that built-in security measures provide security to devices, not its App Store.

The group wants regulators to pressure Apple to allow them bypass App Store so they could reach hundreds of millions of users and also to avoid paying commissions of up to 30% in the Store. Apple is a fierce critic of proposed rules.

Following the footsteps of CEO Tim Cook's comments about the risks to privacy and security of iPhones, Apple published an analysis on the threats of so-called side-loading. "If Apple were forced to support sideloading, more harmful apps would reach users because it would be easier for cybercriminals to target them, even if sideloading were limited to third-party app stores only," the report said.

It warned of malicious apps migrating to third-party stores and infecting consumer devices. The study cited Kaspersky Lab’s figures which showed nearly six million attacks per month affected Android mobile devices.

"What matters to us is the obligation imposed on developers whose apps sell digital goods and services to use Apple In-App payment system," said Damien Geradin, lawyer for the Coalition fo App Fairness. "On that Apple's security claims have no legs. Alternative payment solutions provided by Stripe, Adyen or Paypal are as safe as IAP," he said.

Apple also criticized digital advertisers with whom it is arguing over its new privacy controls designed to limit them from tracking iPhone users. "Large companies that rely on digital advertising allege that they have lost revenue due to these privacy features, and may therefore have an incentive to distribute their apps via sideloading specifically to bypass these protections," the report said.

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