Apple’s intensive focus on iPhone security amid EU sideloading concerns

Image Source: Apple

A recent report by The Independent sheds light on Apple’s rigorous efforts to enhance iPhone security. Ivan Krstić, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture, provides insights into the company’s strategy. Krstić explained to The Independent that Apple is constantly working to break into its iPhones to identify vulnerabilities and fortify security measures. This approach aims to stay ahead of potential threats and ensure robust protection for users.

One notable aspect discussed in the report is Apple’s stance on potential changes in EU regulations that might mandate the opening of the iPhone to third-party app stores and sideloading. Krstić addressed this by emphasizing the misconception that sideloading would offer users more choices. He argued that in cases where essential software is only available outside the App Store, users may be compelled to use less secure third-party systems.

Krstić highlighted the importance of maintaining a secure distribution mechanism, especially for critical software used by individuals and businesses. He pointed out that allowing alternative distribution methods could undermine the security and reliability provided by the App Store.

Apple has consistently opposed sideloading, with executives like Craig Federighi expressing concerns about its potential to become a “cybercriminal’s best friend.” While acknowledging the possibility of complying with EU regulations, Apple emphasizes the need to balance user choice with robust security measures.

In the broader context of user data protection, Krstić mentioned that Apple sees its role as defending users from various threats, including potential clashes with governments. While emphasizing the company’s commitment to user privacy, he clarified that Apple does not position itself against governments but focuses on safeguarding users from common and severe threats.

Recently, it was reported that Apple will introduce a “highly controlled system” in the first half of 2024, allowing users to download apps through sideloading, thereby bypassing the App Store. This forthcoming feature not only grants users greater flexibility but also exempts developers from the 15 to 30 percent fees imposed by Apple. 

Written by Gizem Yılmaz


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