Last week, the European Union announced new rules that may pave the way for the dismantling of the barriers that surround the messaging platforms. Whether it’s Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Signal, the developers of each service want you to use their own software to communicate on their platforms.
The new Digital Markets Act (DMA) includes a provision that states that large messaging services may be forced to provide interoperability with their platforms by other companies. The DMA’s proposed language would not only allow a third-party developer to create an Android messaging client compatible with iMessage, but it would also allow WhatsApp to integrate with Apple’s messaging service.
While this wouldn’t compel Apple to make an Android version of iMessage, but it would make it easier for other companies to demand that Apple open up its messaging service and then create a third-party Android client.
The Digital Markets Act is part of the European Union’s effort to rein in Big Tech and increase competition in areas where it believes it is lacking. And messaging apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, which rely on closed ecosystems to effectively lock in their users and consolidate their position, are easy targets. However, security experts are concerned that forcing services like WhatsApp to interconnect with others could compromise the end-to-end encryption that their users rely on.
Similar concerns were also raised by Apple as well as the WhatsApp chief. Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz said last week in a statement, “We remain concerned that some provisions of the DMA will create unnecessary privacy and security vulnerabilities for our users,”.
Will Cathcart, WhatsApp chief said, “I have a lot of concerns around whether this will break or severely undermine privacy, whether it’ll break a lot of the safety work we’ve done that we’re particularly proud of, and whether it’ll actually lead to more innovation and competitiveness.” He further added that interoperability could harm WhatsApp’s efforts to combat spam, misinformation, and hate speech on its platform.
While it sure is a breakthrough point for third-party apps like WeMessage by Roman Scott and unified messaging app Beeper by co-founder Eric Migicovsky. Hop over to The Verge to check out the detail interview coverage o fthe apps.
If the DMA passes in its current form, these third-party clients may be able to get rid of their hacky workarounds and gain a sense of legitimacy. Migicovsky of Beeper says, “It would be so much better.” Beeper would be able to move away from the Mac app it requires for iMessage integration and instead use background web apps to integrate with other services.
The European Union has announced that it will use a number of criteria to determine whether a tech giant is large enough to be classified as a “gatekeeper”. This would include more than 45 million monthly end-users and a market cap of more than €75 billion or an annual turnover of more than €7.5 billion.
via - The Verge
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