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Apple slams Senate antitrust bills over major consumer harms

Apple App Store Awards 2021 Hero
Apple App Store Awards 2021 Hero (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has warned that new Senate antitrust bills could be bad news for consumers.
  • It told the body in a letter that changes could risk the privacy and security of users.
  • The bills could open up the iPhone to sideloading apps and more third-party payment options.

Apple says Senate antitrust bills could expose the users of the iPhone 13 and all of its best iPhones to major security and privacy risks.

As noted by CNBC Apple's senior director of government affairs, Timothy Powderly, told the Senate Justice Committee that the Open Markets Act and the American Innovation and Choice Online Act could be catastrophic for iPhone users.

Powderly said the bills "put consumers in harm's way because of the real risk of privacy and security breaches", and that sideloading would results in a "big loss for consumers", opening up millions of Americans to malware attacks.

One of the bills' sponsors, Senator Amy Klobuchar stated:

"The bill does not force Apple to allow unscreened apps onto Apple devices," the spokesperson said in a statement. "All of Apple's arguments about 'sideloading' really amount to a desperate attempt to preserve their app store monopoly, which they use to charge huge fees from businesses they are competing against. Let's be clear – this multi-trillion dollar company is more than capable of protecting privacy and security while still giving consumers greater choice by allowing competition. The legislation includes strong provisions that all platforms to safeguard user privacy and security."

Google posted its own similar indictment of the bill and said it would force Google to share sensitive data with other companies and "give equal prominence to a raft of spammy and low-quality services."

The bills are due to be marked up by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, where they may then advance to the floor for voting.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.