Apple Sent another Letter to U.S. Lawmakers to continue their opposition to the push for Apple to accept Sideloading
On February 3, A bill aimed at reining in Apple’s and Google’s app store market power advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with support from all members of the panel except Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).
While the amendment recognizes the security concerns posed by sideloading, the amended bill would still require phone and tablet makers to open devices up to unvetted, unsecure apps.
It's being reported this afternoon by Reuters that Apple had written to lawmakers yesterday to dispute assertions that its concerns about the dangers of sideloading apps into phones were overblown.
Sideloading, the practice of downloading apps without using an app store, is among the reforms that lawmakers hope will open up the market for apps.
Congress is currently considering a bill aimed at reining in app stores run by Apple and Alphabet's Google, which would require companies to allow sideloading. Apple has argued that such a practice would be a security risk as it keeps tight control of the apps in the store in order to keep users safe.
In a letter dated Thursday and sent to key members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Apple said it was aware that a critic, computer security expert Bruce Schneier, had called its concerns about sideloading "unfounded."
Apple went on to argue that most malware does not rely on technical tricks to gain access to devices but instead tricks the human user to download it. It argued that Apple's review of apps that are put into the App Store "creates a high barrier against the most common scams used to distribute malware."
Apple acknowledged that Schneier was correct that state-sponsored attackers could get through smartphones' security controls but argued that these sorts of attacks are a "rare threat."
"There is ample evidence showing third-party app stores are a key malware vector on platforms which support such stores," Apple said in the letter. For more on this read the full report by Reuters.
In other Apple news, Apple shareholders voted today to approve a proposal on Friday that said that the company’s board will conduct a third-party audit examining company policies and provide recommendations to improve its civil rights impact. Apple opposed the proposal. For more, read the full CNBC report.