Apple tells U.S. senators that tech bills will threaten privacy and security

Apple warned U.S. senators Tuesday that proposed bipartisan antitrust legislation aimed at curbing the power of big technology companies would, if passed and signed into law, threaten the privacy and security of users.

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Mark Gurman and Anna Edgerton for Bloomberg News:

Escalating its opposition to the legislation, Apple sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin; the panel’s ranking Republican, Chuck Grassley; Antitrust Subcommittee Chair Amy Klobuchar; and the subcommittee’s ranking Republican, Mike Lee. The letter, which was obtained by Bloomberg News, underscores Apple’s push to protect its App Store from government oversight and changes that would disrupt its business model.

“After a tumultuous year that witnessed multiple controversies regarding social media, whistle-blower allegations of long-ignored risks to children, and ransomware attacks that hobbled critical infrastructure, it would be ironic if Congress responds by making it much harder to protect the privacy and security of Americans’ personal devices,” Tim Powderly, Apple’s senior director of government affairs, said in the letter. “Unfortunately, that is what these bills would do.”

The first bill mentioned in Apple’s letter — legislation sponsored by Klobuchar and Grassley — would require some changes to dominant tech platforms that Apple says would allow iPhone and iPad users to install apps outside of the App Store, a process known as sideloading… An antitrust bill aimed at technology giants could become increasingly attractive as other Democratic initiatives stall and the window closes to notch legislative wins before November’s midterm elections.

MacDailyNews Note: Alphabet Inc.’s subsidiary Google also criticized the legislation in a blog post saying the legislation would make its products less useful and secure, “damaging American competitiveness.” Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker wrote in the blog post, “We’re deeply concerned about these unintended consequences.”

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