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Apple has reportedly agreed to show users a prompt when first setting up a device in Russia to pre-install government-approved apps, in compliance with a new law from the Ministry of Digital Affairs, according to a report from Vedomosti.

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According to the report, citing a source within the Ministry, Apple struck a deal with the government that will show users a prompt when first configuring a device in Russia to pre-install apps from a list of government-approved software. Users will have the ability to decline the installation of certain apps.

The new legislation is an amendment to the existing "On Consumer Protection" law that will require the pre-installation of software on all devices sold in Russia, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and smart TVs. The pre-installed software will include antivirus and cartographic apps, social media apps, and "Public Service" apps for payments and civil services.

Apple told Vedomosti that beginning on April 1, "users will be offered a choice of applications from Russian developers, which they will be able to choose for further installation on their iPhone or iPad." Furthermore, Apple is reportedly discussing adding a new section to the App Store in Russia specifically dedicated to promoting Russian apps.

The Ministry of Digital Affairs assures that it is not seeking to create a dominant position for itself on the list of pre-installed apps. In fact, the Ministry says that if there are other apps on the market, they should be added to the list for users to pre-install.

The Ministry is not interested in the fact that popular programs included in the list for mandatory pre-installation occupy a dominant position. If there are alternative offers of interest to users and rapidly gaining popularity on the market, they will be included in this collection and will also be offered for pre-installation.

In 2019, Apple warned that this new law would open up its device to possible risks and that it would be the "equivalent to jailbreaking." Apple maintains tight control over the pre-installation of apps on its devices and strict moderation over apps allowed onto the App Store, so the expected change is unusual.

Article Link: Apple Agrees to Offer Government-Approved Pre-Installed Apps for Devices in Russia
 

JosephAW

macrumors 601
May 14, 2012
4,037
4,803
We get that in America too, when you set up a new iPhone they give you a list of apps if your new to the App Store: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, TickTok, YouTube, Microsoft, Tinder, etc. all those are safe non-spying apps and companies right? :rolleyes:
 

neuropsychguy

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2008
1,516
2,767
"Users will have the ability to decline the installation of certain apps."

Can users decline to install all of them? If so, this isn't a problem. If you can't decline to install, that's a minor problem. If you can't remove specific non-Apple apps (e.g., Russian government-backed), that's a larger problem.
 
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nt5672

macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
2,284
4,882
Cue every other Government jumping on this 'opportunity' now Apple has set a precedent.
Apple did not set the precedent. The government demanded it in order for Apple to sell into Russia.

Let's face it, contrary to what Apple wants you to believe, Apple is and has to be an extension of the government for the country they are operating in. Otherwise, they get canceled. This includes the US, thanks to politics cancelling the rule of law.

If you wonder why there have not been any more dustups between the FBI and Apple you can be assured that it is because of a National Security Letter that forces Apple to give the government what it wants, anytime it wants.
 

mzeb

macrumors regular
Jan 30, 2007
219
227
While I don’t agree with this very KGB style move I have a hard time blaming Apple for complying with a government’s laws in order to do business.
One can say that Apple should not do business because of these laws but the laws existing is the root problem. Truly, it is up to the people of Russia to fix it. It looks like it might not be a very pretty fix though.
 

sw1tcher

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,295
4,304
Apple told Vedomosti that beginning on April 1, "users will be offered a choice of applications from Russian developers, which they will be able to choose for further installation on their iPhone or iPad." Furthermore, Apple is reportedly discussing adding a new section to the App Store in Russia specifically dedicated to promoting Russian apps.

New app store section will be called: "From Russia with Love"
 

Captain Trips

macrumors demi-god
Jun 13, 2020
1,545
5,257
"Users will have the ability to decline the installation of certain apps."

Can users decline to install all of them? If so, this isn't a problem. If you can't decline to install, that's a problem. If you can't remove specific non-Apple apps, that's a larger problem.
Really no different than how some Android phones have apps installed you don't want, won't use and can't uninstall. I have run across that in the past few years when I still used Android phones and it is very annoying.

I am not talking about apps needed for the OS / phone functionality - those are fine.

Also, I am not defending what Russia is trying to do. Just pointing out that similar situations occur outside of Russia and the iPhone.
 

TwoBytes

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2008
2,802
1,661
Is this iOS, Android or an old varient of Windows XP?

This reminds me of bloatware - what happened to Apple being netural in app choice, user choice, free choice. This sounds like the start of corruption and control. I understand users can 'opt out' but I really think users shouldn't have to go through this and they should 'opt in' to any bloatware/corrupt/recommended apps when they open their brand new, very expensive shiny devices.

I think a purpose app store is a great idea. The corruption starts from really hearding users into choices instead of giving them a blank slate. It could also phase out competitors, proposed systems or app developers if it's not an equal platform because some apps are given a head start.
 
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Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,578
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Bedfordshire, UK
Apple did not set the precedent. The government demanded it in order for Apple to sell into Russia.

Let's face it, contrary to what Apple wants you to believe, Apple is and has to be an extension of the government for the country they are operating in. Otherwise, they get canceled. This includes the US, thanks to politics cancelling the rule of law.

If you wonder why there have not been any more dustups between the FBI and Apple you can be assured that it is because of a National Security Letter that forces Apple to give the government what it wants, anytime it wants.
The Governments already had that data. This is very different whereby users can have Government sponsored apps pushed to their devices.

Rest assured, the FBI/NSA/GCHQ have all your data sitting on their server farms. The FBI/Apple spat was the FBI/Govt trying to legitimise what they have been doing all along - accessing & hoarding users data.
 

davie18

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2010
275
314
While I don’t agree with this very KGB style move I have a hard time blaming Apple for complying with a government’s laws in order to do business.
One can say that Apple should not do business because of these laws but the laws existing is the root problem. Truly, it is up to the people of Russia to fix it. It looks like it might not be a very pretty fix though.
Yeah I mean if you buy an iphone in the EU it comes with annoying logos on it, because of local law (thanks EU for making companies have to put your dumb logos on their nice looking products, smart!). If you buy an iphone in china or japan or south korea, when you take a photo it ALWAYS makes a sound and you can never turn it off, because of local law.

There does have to be a line though where apple would say that they cant comply and would have to stop doing business, I just wonder what that 'line' would be for them.
 
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Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
1,656
2,752
We get that in America too, when you set up a new iPhone they give you a list of apps if your new to the App Store: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, TickTok, YouTube, Microsoft, Tinder, etc. all those are safe non-spying apps and companies right? :rolleyes:

LOL, um that's because those aren't directly or indirectly government controlled businesses as things are over in Russia, sadly. While the former U.S. president would have loved to have been able to identify and label all the citizenry that didn't vote for him or criticised him or his administration say via Facebook or Google, that power wasn't available to him....

Not that the commercial privacy issue isn't bad in the Western Democracies, but trying to imply the two are equivalent is not realistic.

The commercial privacy angle, in the U.S. for example, is not going to result in the government showing up at your door to haul you away because you criticized the U.S. president via messaging on your phone previously.
 
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