Apple is embroiled in yet another controversy over its iPhone encryption technology. Mobile operators have begun to lobby regulators to prohibit Apple’s encryption technology for iPhones, claiming that it undermines digital sovereignty.
Some of Europe’s largest mobile network operators have asked the European Commission to stop Apple from using its encryption technology, claiming that it prevents them from “managing their networks.”
For those who are unaware, Apple’s iPhone encryption prevents tech companies and other third parties from seeing what the user is browsing. However, this is a growing source of concern among mobile network operators because it prevents them from accessing data that they require to function properly.
According to a joint letter signed by major network operators such as Vodafone, T Mobile, Telefonica, Orange, and others:
Private relay claims to improve users’ privacy when connecting to and browsing the internet by encrypting and redirecting traffic… thereby preventing other networks and servers, including those in charge of connectivity, from accessing vital network data and metadata. The manner in which private relay is implemented will have serious ramifications in terms of undermining European digital sovereignty. Furthermore, private relay will limit others’ ability to innovate and compete in downstream digital markets, as well as operators’ ability to manage telecommunication networks efficiently.Advertisement
The network operators expected the regulators to classify Apple as a “digital gatekeeper.” However, the companies have urged regulators to act quickly because the act is not expected to go into effect until next year at the earliest.
The telecommunications companies have yet to receive a response to their request, and in the meantime, Apple has already released a preliminary version of the technology to avoid any complications.