Craig Federighi has a strong opponent of iPhone sideloading
Last month, Apple announced that Senior Vice President Craig Federighi will speak at the 2021 Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. In his keynote speech today, Federighi strongly opposed legislation that could force Apple to open up the iPhone
In December, the EU published its first Digital Markets Act, which could bring significant changes to Apple's App Store and the first-party apps pre-installed on the iPhone. DMA in Europe would force Apple to allow other content to be loaded on the iPhone.
As you might expect, Federighi repeatedly points out that iOS is far less vulnerable to malware and other attacks than Android. According to a security study, he even put up a slide that said "there are five million Android attacks a month." Apple, meanwhile, uses manual app approval and a single point of distribution to limit malware.
Federighi repeated a house analogy during the event. He likened buying an iPhone to buying a "nice house with a nice security system," but then passed a new law that forces you to weaken the security of your house. "The safe house you choose has a fatally flawed security system that thieves are very good at exploiting," Federighi said.
The Apple executive also warned that the legislation comes at a time when "there have never been so many cybercriminals" determined to gain access to private information on your iPhone. "Auditing is a cybercriminal's best friend," Federighi said. "Requiring this feature on the iPhone would be a malware gold rush."
"As an engineer, I want the iPhone to remain as safe as possible for our users, and one thing I'm concerned about is the provision that requires the iPhone to allow sideloading.
In the name of giving users more choice, this provision would deprive consumers of safer platforms. All of this comes at a time when people are saving more personal and sensitive information on their iPhones than ever before. I can tell you there has never been a cybercriminal so determined to get his hands on it."
Federighi went on to say that the legislation would open "Pandora's box of uncensored malware and deny everyone the option of iPhone security." He also spoke out against the opposition of simply giving people the "option" not to carry it, warning that people could be coerced or deceived.
"I don't like side loading, but I wanted to address a point I hear a lot: 'Let people choose whether to sideload or not. Let them judge the risks and they can make their own decisions. It's easy to see the appeal of this argument, but history tells us it doesn't play out the way we want it to because even if you don't deliberately pass the buck, people are often forced or tricked into doing so. This is true on all platforms, even on platforms like Android where sideloading is a bit difficult."