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Apple's Phil Schiller discusses the risks of alternative iPhone app stores

Posted by Joe Rossignol

Starting with iOS 17.4, which is currently in beta, Apple is allowing alternative app stores for iPhones in the EU. Apple has made this change to comply with new EU Digital Markets Act rules that will come into full force next month.


In an interview with Fast Company's Michael Grothaus published today, former Apple CMO and current App Store head Phil Schiller said these alternative app stores pose privacy and security risks:

“These new rules, while they open up new opportunities for developers, also bring new risks. There is no escape from this. So we're doing everything we can to minimize those risks for everyone,” Schiller told me in a recent discussion about the impact of the European Commission's Digital Markets Act on privacy and security.

One of those risks is the ability for users to download malicious or unsafe apps, although Apple will notarize all apps through a combination of automated processes and basic human review to prevent these apps from being available on alternative app marketplaces. possible. However, Apple has stated that notarization will not be as thorough as the App Store review process and guidelines that developers must adhere to.

Another risk is that the App Store's strict rules regarding inappropriate content may not be enforced. extend to alternative app markets, according to Schiller:

“We've received a lot of suggestions from families and governments about things we need to do to try to either prevent certain types of inappropriate content from being on our App Store or give users control over that experience so they can decide what's best for them – and we have rules about that,” says Schiller. “These rules won't apply to another market unless they decide to create their own own rules, [with] whatever criteria they come up with. Does this increase the risk for users and their families of encountering objectionable content or different experiences? Yes, it does.”

Shiller's comments echo many of the risks that Apple has outlined on its website:

If not properly managed, alternative distribution creates increased privacy, security, and security risks for users and developers. These include risks associated with installing software from unknown developers that is not covered by the Apple Developer Program, installing software that compromises system integrity through malware or other harmful code, distributing pirated software, exposure to illegal, unwanted and harmful content due to lower content and moderation standards, as well as an increased risk of fraud, fraud and abuse. Apple has less ability to address these risks and provide support and refunds to customers for these issues. Even with security measures in place, many of these risks remain.

You can read the full interview on the Fast Company website.

Tags: App Store, Phil Schiller[ 381 comments ]

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