Apple presses U.S. lawmakers about the hazards of'sideloading' applications permitted by bill

 Apple, the smartphone maker, has written to legislators to refute claims that its fears about the hazards of sideloading software into phones are exaggerated.

Sideloading, or downloading programs without going through an app store, is one of the improvements legislators think would expand the app industry.

Congress is presently debating a plan that would oblige firms to enable sideloading in app stores managed by Apple and Alphabet's Google. Apple has maintained that such a method would be a security concern since it maintains strict control over the programs in its store to protect consumers.

Apple said it was aware that a critic, computer security expert Bruce Schneier, had labeled its concerns about sideloading "unfounded" in a letter submitted to key members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Apple went on to explain that most malware doesn't quite utilize technological methods to obtain access to devices, but rather uses human users to fool them into downloading it. It claimed that Apple's screening of programs before they are published in the App Store "creates a strong barrier against the most prevalent malware distribution schemes."

Although Apple agreed with Schneier that state-sponsored attackers may circumvent smartphone security protections, it stated that such assaults constitute a "rare hazard."

"There is ample evidence showing third-party app stores are a key malware vector on platforms which support such stores," Apple said in the letter.

 It was delivered to Senate Judiciary Committee chair Dick Durbin, top Republican Chuck Grassley, and antitrust subcommittee chair Amy Klobuchar, as well as top Republican Mike Lee.

The measure was approved by the committee in early February. Companies would also be prohibited from pressuring app developers to use their payment system, as well as penalize applications that provide alternative rates or terms through another app store or payment system.

Congress has been putting pressure on the largest internet corporations, notably Meta Platforms Inc's Facebook and Amazon, amid charges that they misused their market position. A slew of measures have been introduced in an attempt to rein them in, but none have yet passed.

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