Apple's tough stance on privacy and security breaks on Russian shores

Apple's tough stance on privacy and security breaks on Russian shores
Say what you will about Apple, but it doesn't get bogged down in fights it is destined to lose. Paying a multi-billion sum to settle its modem disputes with Qualcomm and finally release the first 5G iPhones makes business sense but so does nixing a Hong Kong protests software from its App Store, or, the latest example, letting Russia do something unprecedented to its iPhones. What exactly?

Apple opens Russian iPhones to government bloatware


Well, a Bloomberg report tips that Apple has agreed to ship its iPhones in Russia with third-party apps preinstalled. Wait, what? Yep, Apple bends but it's not what you think. Instead of nefarious surveillance or hacking software, users in Russia will be led to a dedicated App Store section upon initial device of their Apple gear.

The apps there will be strictly Russian ones, presumably complying with a 2019 law that aims to aid local developers. Apple says it will only show apps that are in the App Store anyway, and fulfil its approval guidelines. Still, the apps in question will be chosen by the Russian government authorities, and the full roster will be revealed starting April 1, when Apple's compliance starts. 

If that's the price for doing business in Russia, Apple is apparently prepared to pay it, as it is the world's largest business first and foremost, regardless of what Apple's user privacy spat with Facebook, in general, and CEO Tim Cook's emphatic persona, in particular, may have led us to believe.

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