The European Union is set to introduce new legislation as soon as this month that will significantly affect how the App Store operates in Europe, according to reports. The Wall Street Journal.
The Digital Markets Code has been in development for some time, and the final version that can be completed as soon as this month will allow for sideloading and alternative App Store options. Apple will be required to allow customers in Europe to download apps outside of its app stores, and will also allow developers to use alternative purchasing methods.
Failure to comply with the law could cost Apple tens of billions of dollars, and Apple’s efforts to combat this law have been unsuccessful. Last November, Apple’s head of software engineering, Craig Federighi, said that sideloading mandated by the Digital Markets Act would open “portals” to malware. Federighi said the legislation “repeals [the] Choosing a more secure platform.
In a statement submitted to The Wall Street JournalApple shared the same sentiment.
Governments and international agencies around the world have explicitly advised against sideloading requirements, which would cripple the privacy and security protections users expect.”
European officials have not been swayed by Apple’s privacy and security arguments, and in July, the head of EU digital competition Margrethe Vestager said that Apple should not use privacy excuses to limit competition. “Customers will not give up security or privacy if they use another app store or if they sideload,” she said.
The full scope of the sideloading clause in the invoice is not yet known as the final language. It may give Apple some room to limit the scope of sideloading. After the bill is finalized, it will be ratified by Parliament and member states, and it will enter into force early next year.
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