Activists Decry ‘Apple’s Stranglehold’ on iPhone Software Following Senate Hearing

Digital rights activist organization Fight for the Future has once again at Apple following Wednesday’s Senate antitrust hearing. They urged lawmakers to take action, and Deputy director Evan Greer Sid users “should have the basic right to install whatever software you want on it.”

App Store Fight ‘a Human Rights Issue’

“When you buy a phone, it’s your phone,” said Ms. Greer. “This issue has largely been portrayed as a spat between big companies: mobile giants like Apple and Google vs app giants like Epic and Spotify. But this issue is much bigger than that: it’s about whether the future of technology is open and accessible or locked down into walled gardens that benefit incumbents and elites. Apple’s stranglehold over what software can run on iPhones creates a choke point that governments have used to crack down on political dissent, target marginalized people like LGBTQ folks, and worse. App store monopolies aren’t just a competition issue, they’re a human rights issue.”

Tile and Spotify Air App Store Greivances to Senate Committee

Apple’s Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer represented the firm in front of lawmakers. He reiterated many of the arguments we’ve long heard from Apple about the benefits it provides those who sell products via the App Store. Tile and Spotify were amongst the firms called to give evidence, and their representatives did not hold back. Tile’s General Counsel Kirsten Daru compared the introduction of third parties to Find My to a “hostage” situation. He noted the strict rules set by Apple, reported 9to5 Mac. Meanwhile, Spotify’s Head Of Global Affairs & Chief Legal Officer Horacio Gutierrez continued to make his firm’s unhappiness at having to use Apple’s in app purchase system and paying 30 percent commission as a result. You can watch the whole thing back on the committee’s website.

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