Today a Federal judge announced a decision in the high profile Apple vs Epic court case surrounding Apple’s restrictive app store practices.
Digital rights organization Fight for the Future, who are behind AbolishTheAppStore.org and NoSpyPhone.org, and who are planning protests at Apple stores in major cities this Monday on the eve of the iPhone 13 launch, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to the group’s Director, Evan Greer (she/her):
Unfortunately, this court decision does nothing to address the real harm of Apple’s restrictive and monopolistic app store policies. As long as Apple maintains an authoritarian stranglehold over what software millions of people can and can’t run on their phones, the company will be actively helping repressive governments undermine human rights and censor apps used by journalists, dissidents, and vulnerable communities. The bottom line is that you can’t be a values-driven privacy company and an aspiring monopoly at the same time.
The scandal around Apple’s widely condemned proposal to conduct on-device photo and message scanning just underscores the harms of Apple’s monopoly. iPhone users can’t uninstall bundled software like iMessage even if they know it has serious security vulnerabilities. If Apple actually has any values, they should let users install and run whatever software they want on the devices they own, the same way they do on Mac laptops. If Apple chooses profit and control over user safety and security, and the courts won’t address the harms of Apple’s monopolistic practices, then lawmakers should.
Fight for the Future and other organizations are planning protests at Apple stores in major cities this Monday, the night before the much hyped iPhone 13 #AppleEvent rollout, demanding that the company permanently shelve its misguided plan to conduct on-device photo and message scanning.