Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

E.U. Objects to Apple’s Self-Benefitting Restrictions on iPhone NFC Capabilities

The European Commission:

The Commission takes issue with the decision by Apple to prevent mobile wallets app developers, from accessing the necessary hardware and software (‘NFC input’) on its devices, to the benefit of its own solution, Apple Pay.

The E.U. is also working on a digital wallet of its own, which it says will create a standard way for residents to prove their identity and potentially make payments. I have not seen that noted in any of the articles about the Commission’s allegations.

Ben Brody, Protocol:

Apple told the Wall Street Journal it is “setting industry-leading standards for privacy and security” while providing would-be competitors access to the technology on the same terms as it operates. The pushback echoes Apple’s defense in other antitrust cases, including those targeting its App Store: The company often insists that features that appear to create a closed ecosystem funneling consumers through its products are merely security protections.

Are the security features it has built for Apple Pay unique to the implementation of that service, unable to be reproduced by or for third parties? I am asking honestly. Apple’s statement manages to be both misleading — “Apple Pay […] has ensured equal access to NFC” makes no sense — and vague about its security standards. Apple’s security guide suggests deep hardware and software integration lends Apple Pay a superlative level of security, but it does not say anything about why this could not be made available to third parties.

I am not just asking questions; I really do want to know what is up with this.