Google and Apple warn of the negative impact the proposed US antitrust bills could have

Google and Apple warn of the impact proposed US antitrust bills could have for users and products
Google, Apple, and other major tech companies have been under scrutiny from the US and Europe (as well as other countries) in recent years for alleged anti-competitive behavior. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will be reviewing the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and could introduce antitrust bills against Google and Apple.

Now, 9to5Google reports that the Mountain View tech giant has a lot to say as to how these bills could harm popular services such as Google Search, Gmail, and other Google products. Apple has also something to say about the bills.

Google details the 'harmful consequences' the antitrust bills could bring

A blog post by Google's President Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker details a list of how the antitrust bills could pretty much break some of the popular Google services and apps, including Google search, Gmail, and others. The legislation that is being debated could ban companies from favoring their own products at the expense of competitors, basically in an attempt to improve competition and fight against big tech companies' "monopoly" in the tech market.

First off, Walker lists that the bills could degrade security and privacy, as they could prevent Google from securing its products by default. This is mainly related to integrating automated security features, something that could be prevented from the bill if other companies offer similar capabilities.

He underlines that Chrome and Gmail's Safe Browsing might not be able to be included automatically. Additionally, Google warns that it could be incapable of detecting issues that require cumulatively collecting "security signals across [Google's] products".

Recommended Stories

On top of that, according to Google, the new legislation could bring a lot of spammy and low-quality services in Search, as well as the Google Play Store.

The fourth point the blog post makes is that it could be necessary for Google to share its users' data: "These bills may compel us to share the sensitive data you store with us with unknown companies in ways that could compromise your privacy."

But Google has not stopped there. The blog post details another issue that could arise, and it is that Search and Maps might be unable to offer integrated results of high quality if some other company offers competing answers. This could mean Google might not be able to show Google Maps directions after a user looks up a location in Search, as well as other info such as business hours or contact information.

The Knowledge Panels in Search that provide immediate and to-the-point answers to people's searches could be at risk, as well as Gmail, Calendar, and Docs integration.

Last but not least, Google underlines the point that the antitrust bills could limit innovation, as well as give government agencies unprecedented power over the design of consumer products, all of this at the expense of "US technological leadership".

Apple has also not been silent about the proposed antitrust bills

The other big tech giant that the bills could impact is, of course, Apple, and Cupertino also had something to say (via 9to5Mac). Reportedly, Apple has sent a letter to Senators Dick Durbin, Amy Klobuchar, and Mike Lee, in which it informs them the antitrust bills could undermine user security and privacy on iPhones in multiple ways.

"These bills will reward those who have been irresponsible with users’ data and empower bad actors who would target consumers with malware, ransomware, and scams.", the letter reads.

The bills could force radical changes to the way apps are installed on iPhones, and could even force third-party app stores, which Apple strongly disagrees with. The company underlines that the App Store is "dramatically more secure" than other solutions thanks to a combination of "advanced technology and human review". The letter adds that iOS has "almost 98% less malware than Android.", and the antitrust bills could undermine that.

At the moment, it is unclear whether the proposed legislation bills will pass the full Senate.

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless