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Apple shouldn't use privacy to crush competition

by on05 July 2021

EU watchdog barks 

European Union competition chief Margrethe Vestager said that Apple shouldn't use privacy and security concerns to stifle competition on the App Store.

Vestager, the European Commission's executive vice president, has proposed regulations that could force Apple to allow alternate app stores. Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke out against the proposal, stating that it could threaten the privacy and security of iOS.

In an interview with Reuters, Vestager agreed with Cook that privacy and security are important factors for consumers, but warned the Cupertino tech giant against using concerns about them to fend off competition. "I think privacy and security is of paramount importance to everyone", Vestager said.

"The important thing here is, of course, that it's not a shield against competition because I think customers will not give up neither security nor privacy if they use another app store or if they sideload." Vestager added that she was open to changes in her proposals, which need input from EU member states and lawmakers before it can become law. "I think that it is possible to find solutions to this", Vestager said.

The EU competition chief said recent privacy changes to iOS, including App Tracking Transparency, aren't currently an antitrust target. In fact, she praised Apple's new privacy controls.

"As I have said, I think actually several times, that it is a good thing when providers give us the service that we can easily set our preferences if we want to be tracked outside the use of an app or not as long as it's the same condition for everyone", Vestager added. "So far, we have no reason to believe that this is not the case for Apple."

Last modified on 05 July 2021
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