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Many Agencies Concerned About ‘Sideloading’ on iPhone, Apple Says

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BRUSSELS –

A number of government agencies in the European Union and elsewhere have expressed concerns about security risks as Apple opens its iPhones and iPads to competing app stores in order to comply with the EU’s technology rules. EU, Apple said on Friday.

Under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), starting March 7, Apple will be required to offer alternative app stores on iPhones and allow developers to opt out of using its in-app payment system, which charges fees of up to 30%.

The US tech giant, which on January 24 detailed changes aimed at bringing its App Store into compliance with EU rules, said “sideloading” – the installation of apps on a mobile device without use its dedicated app store – has sparked concerns from both EU countries. and government agencies and non-EU users.

Allowing the practice is among reforms that some lawmakers hope will help open up the app market.

“These agencies – particularly those providing essential functions such as defense, banking and emergency services – have contacted us about these new changes,” Apple said in a guidance document.

He said agencies wanted assurance they would be able to block government employees from downloading apps on government-purchased iPhones and several said they planned to block sideloading on every device they manage.

“An EU government agency informed us that it does not have the funding or staff to review and approve apps for its devices, and therefore plans to continue to rely on Apple and the App Store because it trusts us to comprehensively control apps,” Apple said. .

The company did not provide details on the number of agencies involved and the countries in which they are located.

Companies such as Fortnite creator Epic Games and Spotify Technology have argued for years that Apple’s commissions and restrictions hinder their businesses.


(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Jason Neely and Tomasz Janowski)

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