Russia investigates Apple over Kaspersky kids app block

BACK IN APRIL, Apple was in hot water over claims it was taking a strange new interest in rivals’ kid protection apps after its own Screen Time …

BACK IN APRIL, Apple was in hot water over claims it was taking a strange new interest in rivals’ kid protection apps after its own Screen Time software launched on iPhone. Apple initially denied that it was hobbling others to promote its own app, but eventually softened its absolute ban on Mobile Device Management (MDM) being used in parental-control apps. It was still frowned upon, but accepted in some circumstances.

That, it turns out, isn’t the end of the story. While previously Apple was just dealing with some ticked off app developers, now it has Russia’s anti-monopoly watchdog – the FAS – on its tail.

The FAS says it is looking into why the latest version of Kaspersky Lab’s Safe Kids app has been blocked from the App Store, noting that version 12 of Screen Time seems to offer plenty of feature overlap with Kaspersky’s product.

For its part, Kaspersky noted that the official guidelines allow limited use of MDM, but couldn’t find a way to get the go-ahead from Apple’s app guardians.

When Reutersapproached Apple for comment, the company pointed the news agency back to its statement from April. The one that says certain apps were removed because “they put users’ privacy and security at risk.”

At the end of that post, it’s worth remembering that Apple categorically denied the removal of apps had anything to do with them sharing functionality with home-grown products. “In this app category, and in every category, we are committed to providing a competitive, innovative app ecosystem,” the statement read.

“There are many tremendously successful apps that offer functions and services similar to Apple’s in categories like messaging, maps, email, music, web browsers, photos, note-taking apps, contact managers and payment systems, just to name a few. We are committed to offering a place for these apps to thrive as they improve the user experience for everyone.”

We’ll have to wait and see as to whether the FSA reaches the same conclusion. µ

Further reading

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Bitcoin and crypto purchases will be prohibited with Apple’s new credit card

Apple and Goldman Sachs’ new credit card will not let users buy cryptocurrencies. This, according to a customer agreement published on Goldman …

Apple and Goldman Sachs’ new credit card will not let users buy cryptocurrencies. This, according to a customer agreement published on Goldman Sachs’ website on August 2.

The agreement notes that the card may not be used for obtaining cash advances or cash equivalents that include digital currencies, lottery tickets, race track wagers, and casino gaming chips.

Apple aims to generate more revenue from its services business

According to Reuters, Apple’s management introduced the card as part of its efforts to increase revenue from its services business after relying heavily on hardware sales for many years. The tech giant’s revenue from its smartphones dropped by 12 percent last quarter.

Goldman Sachs’ partnership with Apple is focused on developing products and services that will improve the bank’s customer-facing business. However, the financial institution’s management does not appear to be too confident in the stability of the cryptocurrency market.

In August 2018, Goldman released a detailed 42-page economic-outlook report in which it argued that cryptocurrencies do not fulfill the three main roles of a currency. According to the investment bank, cryptos are not an effective medium of exchange, store of value, or unit of account.

Goldman Sachs might launch its own cryptocurrency

Goldman’s strategy team predicted last year that cryptocurrencies would not retain value because of their inability to function effectively as money. But now it seems that the institution may be planning to launch its own cryptocurrency.

In late June 2019, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said during an interview that the bank “absolutely” could follow J.P. Morgan Chase in developing its own digital asset. On July 10, the New York-based financial institution listed a job opening for a project manager to join its crypto-asset team.

After previously delisting several crypto-related apps, including American digital asset exchange Coinbase’s app from its App Store, Apple announced the iPhone CryptoKit at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2019. The new crypto kit lets developers implement various hashing, encryption, and key generation features on iOS apps and replaces Apple’s previous software program, CommonCrypto.

Too risky to allow crypto purchases with credit cards

While Goldman Sachs may be working on projects involving digital assets, it’s not surprising that they are prohibiting users from purchasing cryptocurrencies with their credit cards. In February 2018, J.P. Morgan, Citigroup Inc., and Bank of America announced they would no longer permit users to buy cryptos with bank-issued credit cards.

The leading financial institutions expressed concerns about the extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies and also noted that they did not want to take on the “credit risk” involved when conducting crypto-related transactions.

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Filed Under: Adoption, Bitcoin

Omar FaridiOmar Faridi

Omar enjoys writing about all topics related to Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency. He is most interested in crypto regulations, quantum resistant blockchains, and Ethereum and Bitcoin Core development. His academic background includes an undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Nevada and a masters of science in psychology from the University of Phoenix. He works as an application developer for the University of Houston and a data storage specialist for Dell EMC.

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Apple will launch 3 new iPhones with 5G compatibility in 2020, according to a reliable Apple-watcher

Apple will launch three iPhone models with 5G support in 2020, according to an updated note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cited by MacRumors.

iPhone XSKirsty O’Connor – PA Images/Getty Images

  • Apple will launch three iPhone models with 5G support in 2020, according to an updated note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cited by MacRumors.
  • Kuo, a reputable Apple-watcher, had originally said two of the three upcoming iPhones would support 5G, but said Apple would now add the capability to all the new devices.
  • According to Kuo, Apple also has greater resources for developing 5G on iPhone after buying Intel’s modem business in a $1 billion deal.
  • It’ll also make Apple more competitive against cheap Chinese Android phones with 5G capabilities.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple is expected to launch three new iPhones with 5G support in 2020, according to an updated note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, cited by MacRumors.

Blockchain key to explosive biometrics sector

New research, released this week, by US consultancy Frost and Sullivan has shown biometrics companies are partnering with blockchain technology …
blockchain biometrics
Biometrics is the use of unique human identifiers for identification confirmation.

The world got its first real taste of biometrics technology in 2013 when Apple released its Touch ID iPhone feature, since then biometrics are increasingly becoming part of everyday life.

The size of the global biometrics market is expected to grow by around 20% a year for the next five years and technology experts such as Anders Sorman-Nilsson believe biometrics will soon make documents such as passports as thing of the past.

There is, however, one issue biometrics technology companies have been grappling with – securing identity data.

The blockchain solution

New research, released this week, by US consultancy Frost and Sullivan has shown biometrics companies are partnering with blockchain technology companies at a rapid rate.

“Rising consumer demand for convenience without comprising security is driving companies to adopt biometric technologies, propelling the $4.60 billion market toward $11.10 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 19.3%,” said Forst and Sullivan analyst, Ram Ravi.

Mr Ravi believes blockchain companies will be one of the biggest beneficiaries from that explosive growth.

“In response (to growing demand), biometric companies are establishing new partnerships with blockchain technology companies to deliver identity management solutions.

“With smart connected devices shifting customer preferences towards alternate commerce channels, biometric market players are quickly establishing blockchain strategies to augment their offering.”

‘Known Traveller Digital Identity’

One of the best current real-world examples of blockchain underpinning biometrics is the World Economic Forum’s ‘Known Traveller Digital Identity‘ pilot program.

Last month, the governments of Canada and The Netherlands began participating in the pilot program.

Travellers involved in the pilot can use their personal biometric data to travel between the two countries. The data is controlled by the individual and stored on a decentralised blockchain, accessible through a mobile phone.

“The excitement around digital identity underpinned by blockchain and biometrics is that there is now a solution pattern crystallising where users can be in control of their own data,” Blockchain consultant David Treat told Forbes, when the pilot began.

“They can decide with whom they want to share it, and for how long, and revoke that access at a later point.”

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Apple pays $1bn for Intel modem business as it seeks more control over iPhone parts

… Britain’s Imagination Technologies in favour of its own, and bought key power management technology from Reading-based Dialog Semiconductor.

Apple will pay $1bn (£800m) for Intel’s smartphone modem business as chief executive Tim Cook aims to increase the company’s grip on the microchips that power the iPhone.

As part of the deal, Apple will take on 2,200 Intel employees and thousands of patents related to wireless technology, the companies said.

Apple currently relies on Intel’s wireless chips to connect to 4G mobile networks, but Intel has struggled to catch up to the industry leader Qualcomm, meaning that this year’s iPhone will come without the 5G technology that is making its way into rival smartphones.

Qualcomm and Apple recently settled a longstanding legal battle, meaning future versions of the iPhone will include Qualcomm chips and forcing Intel to put the business up for sale, but Mr Cook is seeking to cut its reliance on external suppliers.

In recent years it has dropped graphics chip designs from Britain’s Imagination Technologies in favour of its own, and bought key power management technology from Reading-based Dialog Semiconductor.

The deal is one of Apple’s biggest acquisitions to date, second only to its 2014 purchase of headphone maker Beats. The company has been hiring top talent from Intel’s wireless division in recent months.

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