Will Apple bow to other countries like Russia?

21/03/2021 07:26 GMT + 7

Countries around the world may apply the same rules that Russia imposes on Apple.

IPhone buyers in Russia are about to see a screen calling for internal app installation. (Image: Getty Images)

Starting April 1, iPhones and other iOS devices sold in Russia have an extra step of installation. Besides the questions about language selection and Siri activation, the user will see a screen prompting to install a list of apps from Russian developers. This is Apple’s concession in the face of Russian legal pressure. According to Wired, it could set a precedent beyond the country’s borders.

Previously, in 2019, Russia ordered all computers, phones, smart TVs … sold domestically to have a number of applications approved by the state pre-installed, including browsers, messaging applications, software. antivirus. However, Apple allows users to choose not to install, as opposed to Android. All apps are downloaded on the Android device before being sold, according to RFE.

Adrian Shahbaz, director of technology and democracy at nonprofit Freedom House, commented that this is the result after years of pressure on technology companies. Russia exerts a great effort to reshape the Internet in the country. The government also imposes strict regulations on indigenous businesses. They have to store data on local servers, provide decryption keys, remove illegal content, and now promote apps on their platforms.

According to Mikhail Klimarev, CEO of the Internet Protection Society, the non-governmental organization Internet Protection Society, pre-installed apps offer two benefits to the Kremlin: it provides an opportunity to promote the app, while also allowing the government to tighten its marketing. technology school. The law will punish any company that sells non-compliant computers and phones instead of manufacturers, unless the manufacturer is the same seller as Apple.

This isn’t the first time Apple has succumbed to a government. In order to continue operating in China, “apple defect” agreed to use the domestic cloud provider to store iCloud data and decryption keys of Chinese customers. The company also removed apps from the Chinese App Store when required by the state. Adding a new install step when activating the device in Russia is the latest move.

According to Shahbaz, it is in the larger trend they observed globally, in countries like Iran, Turkey, and India. From an economic and national security perspective, it is easy to understand why the government wants its people to use domestic software. However, experts fear this will affect the decentralized nature of the Internet.

Apple still gives Russian users the opportunity not to install government-approved apps, but it is clear that promoting it during activation will bring the software to a wider audience. Apple simply allows Russia to pre-install any apps it wants, or objectively opposes it. However, they choose an intermediary solution that other governments can fully grasp to suit their own national interests.

Du Lam (According to Wired)

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