Eugene Kaspersky, founder of Kaspersky Labs, claims that Apple is blocking his company’s attempts to bring a third party security suite to the iPhone. Kaspersky says that despite being in contact with Apple for two years about this project, Apple will not allow them to use the iPhone’s SDK to develop a mobile security program like it has developed for Symbian and WinMo phones.
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Is Apple’s heavy-handed approach here putting customers in jeopardy?
Not quite. Kaspersky himself acknowledges the minimal risk of a virus infecting an iPhone saying that the odds of this happening are “almost zero.” However, Kaspersky claims that the product he would want to develop would be more focused on data security. With the iPhone’s meteoric rise in the business world, such security is becoming more and more important, he says.
“Are you OK to lose your address list?” Kaspersky asked. “I’m not. It’s a risk to lose the data. Anti-theft is a major component of our software.”
Kaspersky’s complaints also address a persistent issue with the iPhone: Apple’s draconian app approval process. Despite attempts to shed light on the process, it still remains a shadowy and subjective thing. Kaspersky said, “I don’t want to say Apple’s is the wrong way of behaving, or the right way. It’s just a corporate culture – it wants to control everything.”
While the usefulness of Kaspersky’s product may be slightly dubious, Apple’s refusal to work with a respected developer like Kaspersky is equally unsettling. While it’s understandable that Apple wants to keep certain things in-house, the fact that it won’t give Kaspersky the SDK while it will give the SDK to the iFart guys is patently absurd. Frankly, Apple needs to rectify this, and work harder to make sure trusted developers don’t have to walk over hot coals to develop for their platform.