North Dakota wants to ruin iPhone, according to Apple privacy engineer
posted Saturday Feb 13, 2021 by Scott Ertz
Over the past few years, Apple has done a lot of marketing around the idea of privacy. This is likely because they have begun to lose their perceiver authority in security, which only existed because no one used their products, making them a worthless target. These days, however, Apple devices (at least the mobile kind) can be found everywhere, so there's value in attacking them now. So, the company's public perception of a focus on privacy has become its driving goal. However, there is a point where privacy, usability, and ownership collide, and iOS is that place.
While Apple has received praise for their tracking change, except from Facebook, there has been a lot of backlash on another topic - app fairness. The topic was originally raised by Epic Games when they were not allowed to keep Fortnite in the App Store after removing the in-store payment system. Since then, the Coalition for App Fairness has been formed, even adding major media publishers. Now, the group has a new unofficial partner - the state of North Dakota.
The state has proposed a bill that would prevent any "digital application distribution platform" from locking users into a single, exclusive distribution method, such as an app store. While this law seems specifically aimed at Apple's devices, such as iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS, it would apply to other companies, including Android, Roku, and more. While the Coalition for App Fairness, and most users, are excited about this potential, Apple is not. Apple's Chief Privateness Engineer, Erik Neuenschwander, said that the bill would "destroy iPhone as you know it." Yes, Erik, that's kind of what they're going for.
There are a few important notes to keep in mind. If passed, the law would only apply to North Dakota. However, as we know with vehicle emissions, one state can set the rules for the country. Apple would be required to make the capability possible, and it would have to apply to all iPhones and iPads within the state of North Dakota, even if they were purchased somewhere else. As such, it might come down to implementing the capability nationwide. Knowing Apple, though, it is more likely that they will be as vindictive and petty as possible and implement a GPS-enabled feature.