Apple, Google Tell Senators that Antitrust Bills Will ‘Harm Privacy’

Tim _Apple_ Cook testifying via TV (Pool/Getty)
Pool/Getty

Apple and Google recently warned U.S. lawmakers that bipartisan antitrust legislation that aims to curb the power of the Masters of the Universe could threaten user privacy and security.

Bloomberg reports that Apple and Google told U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday that recently introduced bipartisan antitrust legislation aimed at cracking down on big tech firms could threaten the privacy and security of users. Apple sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL); the panel’s ranking Republican, Chuck Grassley (R-IA); Antitrust Subcommittee Chair Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); and the subcommittee’s ranking Republican, Mike Lee (R-UT), in which the company attempted to protect its App Store from regulation.

Google's Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai gives a keynote address during the opening day of the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on March 2, 2015. Phone makers will seek to seduce new buyers with even smarter Internet-connected watches and other wireless gadgets as they wrestle for dominance at the world's biggest mobile fair starting today. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS LLENE (Photo by Lluis GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP

Apple’s Tim Cook got big pay bump in 2018: filing (Noah Berger/AFP)

Tim Powderly, Apple’s senior director of government affairs, stated in the letter: “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. Unfortunately, that is what these bills would do.”
Google chose instead to criticize the legislation via a blog post, stating that the bills would massively damage its most popular products like Google Search and Gmail. Both companies claimed that the bills would cause issues with security and user privacy.

The first bill in Apple’s letter would require that Apple allow its iPhone and iPad users to install apps outside of the App Store. Apple has alleged that this would have a negative effect on the company’s privacy and security stance and put its users at risk — it would also prevent the company from collecting its 15-30 percent App Store commissions from developers.

A spokesperson for Klobuchar, who co-sponsored the bill alongside Grassley, stated: “The bill does not force Apple to allow unscreened apps onto Apple devices. 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.”

Read more at Bloomberg here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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