The provisional agreement on the Digital Markets Act (DMA) was
reached earlier this week by EU governments, with 43 votes
in favor, one against, and one abstention, showing a broad
consensus from European lawmakers to aggressively regulate big
tech companies. [...]
The latest provisional agreement sets out plans to establish a
“High-Level Group” of central European digital regulators to
coordinate national regulators across EU member states and
requires “gatekeepers” to create an independent “compliance
function.” The new group must include compliance officers to
monitor their company’s compliance with EU legislation using
sufficient authority, resources, and access to management, and be
headed by an “independent senior manager with distinct
responsibility for the compliance function.” The rule would
effectively require companies like Apple to set up a department
internal dedicated to meeting pro-competition regulations.
That sounds like a lot of fun, and something that won’t bog down progress at all.
In addition, new rules specifically targeted to address companies
like Apple that have “a dual role” with control over both hardware
and software look to allow any developer to gain access to any
existing hardware feature, such as “near-field communication
technology, secure elements and processors, authentication
mechanisms, and the software used to control those technologies.”
This is bananas. All third party developers get control over the secure enclave and the software that controls it? Would be good to give them such control over the camera, microphone, and location data, too.
This is profoundly anti-consumer. Consumers aren’t asking for any of this shit. Actual people love their phones more than their computers — whether Macs or PCs — not despite the fact that their phones are tightly controlled consoles, but because they are tightly controlled consoles. These regulators don’t see it that way, because they’re idiots. They think they can legislate their way to a world where the iPhone (and Android, which is also console-like) remains far safer and more reliable than PCs while mandating that all the protections that have made them far safer and more reliable than PCs be removed. It’s absurd.
Worth noting: “Europe” accounts for nearly 25 percent of Apple’s revenue. That includes 23 countries that aren’t in the E.U. — most notably, of course, the U.K. — but the E.U. is too big for Apple to just tell them to pound sand. I would imagine though, if this comes to fruition, E.U. citizens are going to wind up buying iPhones that operate very differently from those sold everywhere else in the world, and they will suffer for it.
★ Friday, 20 May 2022