Apple warns lawmakers about the risks of "legalizing" third-party apps on the iPhone


The smartphone manufacturer Apple has addressed lawmakers with a letter challenging the claim that the company overestimates the risks of adopting a law allowing third-party applications to be downloaded to the iPhone. According to Apple, this practice poses a serious threat to user security.

Free downloading of programs without using the app store is one of the reforms that lawmakers hope will make the app market more free and competitive.

Currently, Congress is considering a bill aimed at restricting the operation of app stores run by Apple and Alphabet Google, which will require companies to allow the download of unpublished applications. Apple claims that such a practice would pose a security risk because it tightly controls the apps in the store, taking care of the safety of users.

In a letter dated Thursday and sent to key members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, Apple said it was aware of the opinion of computer security expert Bruce Schneier, who considers “unfounded” concerns about untrusted downloads.

Apple claims that most malware does not use technical techniques to gain unauthorized access to devices, but instead tricks the user into downloading them. According to Apple, the verification of applications hosted in the App Store “creates a high barrier against the most common fraudulent schemes used to distribute malware.”

Apple acknowledges Schneier’s findings that state-sponsored attackers can get through the security controls of smartphones, but believes that such attacks pose a “rare threat.” «There is ample evidence that third-party app stores are a key vector of malware on platforms that support such stores“, – Apple’s letter says.

In early February, the committee voted to adopt the bill. The proposed measure would also prohibit companies from requiring app providers to use their payment system and prohibit them from penalizing apps that offer different prices or terms through another app store or payment system.

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