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Apple slams Senate antitrust bills over major consumer harms

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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.

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