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European Union’s Digital Markets Act “bring new risks,” says Apple App Store boss | – Times of India

The European Union’s Digital Markets Act goes into effect next month, and Apple has announced changes to the App Store and iPhone in the European Union to comply with upcoming regulations. The Act requires gatekeepers, which includes Apple and others – Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Amazon – to adorn competition in the industry by opening their platforms to smaller companies. As a result, Apple is being forced to open iPhones to third-party app stores in 27 nation bloc starting next month. Apple Fellow Phil Schiller, who is responsible for handling the App Store, sat down with the Fast Company and expressed concerns about these changes in the interview.
Schiller talked in the interview about new options for developers, such as alternative app stores and in-app purchases, and other risks as Apple opens up its “walled garden.”
The DMA aims to provide smaller businesses with an opportunity to compete with technology’s biggest players. However, if alternative app stores are introduced on the iPhone in the EU, privacy and security-conscious individuals may become more vulnerable to threats. Phil Schiller, who is the head of Apple’s App Store, has warned that this change could have serious implications for user privacy and security.
“These new regulations, while they bring new options for developers, also bring new risks. There’s no getting around that. So we’re doing everything we can to minimise those risks for everyone,” Schiller said while discussing the privacy and security impact of the European Commission’s Digital Markets Act.
Apple’s “walled garden” approach has enabled it to monitor apps for potential harm, but with alternate app stores, Apple’s ability to prevent harmful apps is limited. So, when downloading apps from alternate app stores on iPhones in the EU, there is a risk of downloading malicious apps that can collect sensitive data or use your device for unauthorised purposes. However, Apple says it has developed tools to help developers in alternative app marketplaces make their apps as secure as possible under the requirements of the DMA.
“We’ve put together over 600 new APIs for developers to give them the tools to build a marketplace, install an app, let the user have control of that process,” Schiller said. “We’ve done a lot of core engineering [to help make things easier for alternative app store developers], and we’re going to continue to.”
With alternative app stores come new protection measures to mitigate the risks. All iPhone apps undergo an automated scanning process and human review before getting a digital key to enable installation on an iPhone. However, this notarization process is not as comprehensive as the App Store’s conventional review. Before installing third-party apps, a sheet appears on the user’s screen displaying the app’s details. “The user can choose what they want their default marketplace to be, whether it’s our App Store or some other app store,” Schiller explains.
New Settings allow users to see which apps were downloaded from which app store and approve or turn off approval. “You have a place to go in Settings now to see the marketplaces you’ve approved and to turn off approval. And you can see what apps you’ve installed from that specific marketplace if you get concerned later,” he adds.
Schiller emphasises that while Apple has implemented new security measures for third-party app marketplaces on iPhones, the company has no control over the content of apps available on those marketplaces. Unlike Apple’s App Store, Apple cannot impose terms or limitations on other marketplaces, potentially allowing objectionable or harmful content. Additionally, users must handle payments, refunds, and subscription cancellations directly with those stores or developers, as Apple cannot assist in such matters.
While he understands users’ desire for diverse app options, Schiller expresses concerns that the Digital Markets Act (DMA) may increase risks for users. He explains that the safety and security provided by the App Store come at a considerable cost. Schiller asserts Apple’s commitment to making the App Store the safest and best place for users to download apps. He also underscores the importance of users being aware of potential risks associated with alternative app stores, especially for parents overseeing their children’s iPhone usage.
Schiller asserts that even though the DMA allows users to download apps from alternative marketplaces, Apple remains dedicated to maintaining the App Store’s safety and quality standards.

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