Apple says third-party app downloads will 'cripple' iPhone privacy and security

By: Yuriy Stanislavskiy | 13.10.2021, 16:15
Apple says third-party app downloads will 'cripple' iPhone privacy and security

A new document released today by Apple says that third-party app stores and side-loading will compromise privacy and security on the iPhone 13 and subsequent models.

The new document is titled "Creating a Secure Ecosystem for Millions of Apps - Analyzing the Threats Associated with Third-Party Downloads" and reads:

The iPhone is a very personal device where users store some of their most sensitive and personal data. This means that ensuring security and privacy in the iOS ecosystem is critical for users. However, some are demanding that Apple support app distribution outside of the App Store, through direct downloads or third-party app stores, a process also referred to as "third-party downloading". Supporting third-party downloads through direct downloads and third-party app stores would violate the privacy and security protections that have made the iPhone so secure, and expose users to serious security risks.

Apple notes that between 15 and 47 times more malware has been found on Android devices in the last four years than on the iPhone. The company argues that if it is forced to accept third-party downloads, more malicious apps will reach users, users will have less information about the apps they download, and some protections against third-party access to the iPhone's own hardware will have to be removed, undermining key elements of iPhone security.

Apple also highlighted its previous argument that users who don't want to install apps from outside will simply be forced to do so by developers who will remove their apps from the App Store.

Source: apple (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Illustration: apple