Kaspersky Labs latest to take stab at Apple’s ‘monopoly’


Woman in China temporarily goes blind in one eye after smartphone overuse
Apple debuted its Screen Time feature last year.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has filed a complaint against Apple, alleging monopolistic behavior in the way it runs the App Store.

“Despite a long history of working successfully with Apple, we believe that this is a necessary step,” the company claims. The complaint comes shortly after Spotify also alleged that Apple was abusing its position.

Getting Sherlocked

Kaspersky Lab says that it first ran into problem with Apple last year. Apple sent a notice claiming that the company’s “Kaspersky Safe Kids” iOS app clashed with guidelines. The app had previously been available, without problem, for close to three years.

“It turned out that, according to Apple, the use of configuration profiles was against App Store policy, and Apple demanded that these be removed, so that the app could pass the review and be published in the store. For us, that would mean removing two key features from Kaspersky Safe Kids: app control and Safari browser blocking.

Both features are essential. The first allows parents to specify which apps kids cannot run based on the App Store’s age restrictions. The second allows the hiding of all browsers on the device, so kids can open Web pages only in Kaspersky Safe Kids’ built-in secure browser, which protects them from unsafe content.”

Who is this bad for?

The company says that Apple contacted them shortly prior to it introducing its Screen Time feature. This functions as “essentially Apple’s own app for parental control.” The problem, therefore, is that Apple is both running an App Store but also putting out potentially competing products.

Kaspersky Lab says that developers of parental control apps will lose users and experience a financial hit. Users could also miss out on “critical” security features as a result. While Apple is able to call the shots as the App Store owner, it is also running one of the few channels for delivering apps to customers.

Do you think Apple is abusing its position by acting in this way? Is there any way around it that would be fair to all parties involved? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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