Lawmakers concerned Apple's focus on privacy could be anticompetitive
What you need to know
- Apple's focus on user privacy is being criticized by lawmakers.
- Congressman David N. Cicilline says he's concerned it could be used as "a shield for anticompetitive behavior".
- Apple "partners" have reportedly met with House lawmakers to discuss concerns.
A report suggests that US lawmakers are concerned that Apple's focus on user privacy may actually be a shield for anticompetitive practices.
A report from The Washington Post via 9to5Mac claims that Congressman David N. Cicilline, Democrat for Rhode Island and chair of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, says he is concerned over "the use of privacy as a shield for anticompetitive behavior."
According to the report, Cicilline is pushing for "strong" privacy laws in the United States, which would take the regulation of privacy out of the hands of big tech companies like Apple. He reportedly said:
Apparently, Cicilline is most concerned about changes Apple made to its location services in iOS 13. Apple removed the "always allow" option from the splash screen in iOS 13. It is reported that lawmakers are concerned that Apple may have given itself access to location data denied to third-party competitors, for example, Tile. An Apple statement in response said:
The report notes that House lawmakers are said to have met with Apple "partners" to discuss these concerns, according to people with knowledge of the meetings.
Apple has been the subject of much antitrust talk of late, both at home and abroad, however, this is the first time that location services and privacy seem to have been raised as a concern. It seems a little bizarre to portray "privacy" and "competition" as two opposite ends of a spectrum and worrying that it might be suggested that users or tech companies should have to choose between the two.
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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. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9