If a proposed law is passed in the US, Apple will no longer be able to stop users from removing pre-installed apps – a practice that critics say the company uses to favour its own products.
According to Bloomberg, the proposed legislation won’t stop Apple from pre-installing apps in the first place. But in addition to at least enabling their removal, it will ban platforms from changing default settings that steer users to products offered by the platform.
“You can’t make it impossible for people to use other services that are the same. You can’t exclude other people so you only are left that one,” said David Cicilline, a US lawmaker who is eager to see more regulation of big tech companies.
It’s safe to say that the political and legal climate has swiftly turned against big tech. On the other side of the Atlantic, the European Union’s highest court recently opened the door to more national-level scrutiny of large multinational tech companies. And about a month ago, EU regulators sided with Spotify over its high-profile antitrust complaint against Apple.
The EU is also considering a new law aimed at keeping tech giants in check. According to Reuters, Apple CEO Tim Cook panned parts of the proposed law, saying they would “force side-loading on the iPhone.” Side-loading refers to installing an app without going through the official app stores like Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
“It would destroy the security of the iPhone, and a lot of the privacy initiatives that we’ve built into the App Store or the privacy intrusion labels and app-tracking transparency,” Cook said.