Lawmakers Wonder if Apple Uses Privacy for Anti-Competitive Behavior

Apple’s icon to denote privacy.

The head of the antitrust investigation into Big Tech, Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI) is concerned that Apple may be using its privacy measures to hide anti-competitive behavior (via Washington Post).


An example of this is when Apple strengthened location-blocking measures in iOS. It’s now more difficult for apps to track you in the background, at least when it comes to third-party apps. Apple’s own apps can use your location in this manner but iOS doesn’t give you the same alerts for these first-party apps.

Although Apple users can go into settings and limit what data Apple’s apps collect, it’s a multi-step process that many probably won’t do, or won’t know how to do. The main concern is that this gives Apple an advantage over competitors, adding new features to iOS that use location without asking users for additional permissions.

Another example given is Tile, maker of Bluetooth tracking devices. The company’s app now can’t ask for location tracking that constantly works in the background. But Apple’s app Find My defaults to offline finding and other tracking features. Presumably, Apple’s rumored Tile competitor called Tag would work the same, which goes back to the concern that Apple uses this to give itself an edge over competitors.

Further Reading:

[Apple Staff Support Tim Cook’s Trump Strategy]

[Inactive Twitter Accounts to be Removed in December]

5 thoughts on “Lawmakers Wonder if Apple Uses Privacy for Anti-Competitive Behavior

  • I’m reminded of the phrase “Can’t fix stupid”.

    Seems to fit quite a few of them these days. Maybe Elon Musk will offer some freebie tickets on his 1-way trip to Mars. (not sure yet, whether I want them for me, or for “Stupid”, though).

  • Oh sweet baby jesus I’m sick of these preening fake pious politicians. Yea, keeping user data private is the problem, not do nothing scumbag politicians wasting our money. I’m hoping there is a 10th circle of hell, just for the politicians.

      1. Yes, I have in fact had a friend stop in the middle of a conversation and ask “how in the f*** do you know these things?”

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