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Thursday, 21 March 2019 10:19

Kaspersky files anti-trust plaint against Apple in Russia

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Kaspersky files anti-trust plaint against Apple in Russia Courtesy Kaspersky Lab

Security firm Kaspersky Lab has lodged an anti-trust complaint against Apple with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service protesting the App Store policy that has resulted in it being forced to remove its Kaspersky Safe Kids for iOS app from the store.

In a blog post, Kaspersky said its app had been in the App Store for nearly three years and Apple had suddenly asked it to remove configuration profiles as this was against the store policy.

But this meant that Kaspersky Safe Kids would no longer have app control and Safari browser blocking, both of which Kaspersky said were essential.

"The first allows parents to specify which apps kids cannot run based on the App Store’s age restrictions," the company said.

"The second allows the hiding of all browsers on the device, so kids can open Web pages only in Kaspersky Safe Kids’ built-in secure browser, which protects them from unsafe content."

The change in policy had come after Apple added a feature to Screen Time that allowed the monitoring of time spent on using certain apps or websites - an app for parental control.

This is not the first time that Kaspersky has gone the anti-trust route.

The company filed a complaint against Microsoft in both Russia in 2016 and Germany in 2017, saying that after Windows 10 was released, Microsoft Microsoft began creating obstacles to the manufacturers of other security solution and devised new methods to force users to forgo third-party software in favour of Windows Defender.

In August 2017, the complaint was resolved after Microsoft agreed to make changes to address these concerns.

Regarding the Apple complaint, Kaspersky said: "From our point of view, Apple appears to be using its position as platform owner and supervisor of the sole channel for delivering apps to users of the platform to dictate terms and prevent other developers from operating on equal terms with it."

It pointed out that music service Spotify and parental control apps AdGuard and Kidslox has also faced blocks by Apple. Spotify had complained to the European Commission about Apple's actions.

"We very much hope that we will also be able to continue our winning relationship with Apple, and that requires us to create an environment where Kaspersky Lab and other companies compete on equal footing," Kaspersky said. "The environment is very different at the moment, which is why we are in the process of applying to the Federal Antimonopoly Service."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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