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On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook slammed forthcoming antitrust regulations in the United States and Europe, claiming that some of the proposed measures will jeopardize iPhone users’ privacy and security.

In a speech at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington, D.C., Cook argued that regulators’ actions to compel Apple to allow iPhone users to download and install apps from the internet, known as “sideloading,” could result in a scenario where users are misled into downloading malware and applications that steal user data, citing reports of malicious apps on Android, where sideloading is currently permitted.

Sounding an alarm

Users may presently only download iPhone software via Apple’s App Store, which thoroughly analyzes each app and updates. Cook lamented that policymakers in Washington and abroad are taking actions in the interest of competition to push Apple to allow applications on the iPhone that bypass the App Store through sideloading. 

Cook said that data-hungry firms would be able to circumvent Apple’s privacy standards and follow users against their will. In forthcoming antitrust regulations, Apple’s attempt to relax the sideloading requirements by concentrating on the hazards it poses to customers was highlighted in Cook’s speech on Tuesday.

Apple vs. the competition

According to regulators, Apple’s 15% to 30% fees for App Store purchases are costly and excessive. Forcing Apple to allow apps to be installed over the internet would promote competition and reassure app developers who say Apple’s fees are exorbitant.

If developers can offer iPhone apps outside of Apple’s store, they will be able to bill their customers directly and avoid Apple’s costs. On the other hand, Apple claims that sideloading would devalue the iPhone since it evaluates all iPhone apps in the App Store through an App Review process that looks for fraud and viruses.