The American Innovation and Choice Online Act may make it illegal for large technology companies like Apple to prefer their own goods over those of competitors.
Tech lobbyists believe that the plan, which enables sideloading, might affect popular consumer items, and that it is intended to shake up the competition.
Despite the fact that the plan is nonpartisan, some Democrats are concerned that it would harm the next midterm elections, according to POLITICO.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, on the other hand, has released a new version of the measure that answers concerns raised by senators from both parties.
Sideloading raises the chance of injury
Apple has been outspoken about its fears about the impact of competition on its App Store. It feels that enabling consumers to download third-party apps is a bad idea.
The business fears that sideloading will expose iOS to more security flaws. An Apple spokesperson told 9to5Mac in a statement:
We created the iPhone and the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for users to download the apps they love and a great business opportunity for developers everywhere. The result has been an unprecedented engine for economic growth, which has enabled competition and innovation and made it possible for any developer with a great idea to reach Apple customers around the world.
This has previously been attempted by the EU
Apple has also been at odds with the European Union over the issue of sideloading. It just enacted the Digital Markets Act, which requires Apple to allow consumers to install third-party apps if they so want.
The EU has declared that smartphone owners should be able to choose how they want to use their gadgets.
The Apple spokesperson continues:
We remain concerned that this legislation threatens to break this model and undermine the privacy and security protections our users depend on. Governments and international agencies worldwide have explicitly advised against sideloading requirements, which would empower bad actors who want to target users—including children—with malware and scams, and make it easier for data-hungry companies to track users without their consent. At the end of the day, the changes made to the bill are a recognition that the legislation, as originally drafted, created unintended privacy and security vulnerabilities for users. We believe the proposed remedies fall far short of the protections consumers need, and urge lawmakers to make further changes to avoid these unintended consequences.
In addition, during the last year, Apple and other Big Tech companies have spent millions of dollars on lobbying. There have also been public awareness efforts against laws that would jeopardize security and irritate customers who rely on these services.