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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Apple to delay new AI features in Europe due to regulations

Apple delays AI features in Europe due to Digital Markets Act regulations, citing concerns over user privacy and data security.

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Apple has announced a delay in releasing its latest AI features for iOS 18 in the European Union, attributing the hold-up to the Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulations. The company stated that the marquee features of Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring on , and SharePlay Screen Sharing would not launch in the EU this year. Bloomberg reported this information on Friday.

Concerns over user privacy and data security

In a statement to Bloomberg, Apple expressed concerns about the DMA's interoperability requirements, which they claim could compromise the integrity of their products. “We are concerned that the interoperability requirements of the DMA could force us to compromise the integrity of our products in ways that risk user privacy and data security,” Apple said. However, the company did not provide further details on how the DMA could specifically affect user privacy and security.

The DMA, which was passed in 2022, aims to promote fair competition by preventing large tech companies from using their market power to stifle competitors. It restricts these companies from prioritising their services over others, locking customer data within their platforms, and limiting transparency about their advertising data usage.

Apple's history with EU regulations

This is not the first instance in which Apple has cited regulations as a reason for withholding features from EU users. Earlier this year, the company announced that it would remove the ability to add home screen web apps in Europe, again blaming DMA rules. Apple later reversed this decision following “requests” it received. Similarly, removed third-party apps and watch faces from European devices, attributing the move to “new regulatory requirements.”

Apple's decision to delay these features comes amid increasing regulatory scrutiny in the EU. In March, the European Commission launched a formal investigation into the company and is reportedly preparing to charge it with DMA violations in the coming weeks. Earlier this year, Apple was fined US$1.95 billion for preventing app developers from informing iOS users about cheaper music subscription options outside Apple's ecosystem.

Impact on European users

The delay in launching these AI features is a significant setback for Apple users in the European Union. Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring on Mac, and SharePlay Screen Sharing are highly anticipated updates that aim to enhance the user experience by integrating more AI-driven functionalities. These features are part of Apple's broader strategy to make its devices more interconnected and user-friendly.

However, the company's stance on regulatory compliance highlights the complex relationship between tech giants and regulatory bodies. While Apple emphasises user privacy and data security, the DMA seeks to ensure fair competition and transparency, often putting these objectives at odds.

As the situation unfolds, European users will have to wait longer to experience these new features. It remains to be seen how Apple's regulatory challenges will influence future product launches and updates in the EU.

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Emma Job
Emma Job
Emma is a freelance news editor at Tech Edition. With a decade's experience in content writing, she revels in both crafting and immersing herself in narratives. From tracking down viral trends to delving into the most recent news stories, her goal is to deliver insightful and timely content to her readers.

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