Digital Assets

Regulatory Concerns Cause Apple to pospone AI features in Europe

Hundreds of millions of people will not have access to new Apple features.

According to various press reports, Apple will delay the release of Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing in the European Union due to concerns about regulations in the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Apple Intelligence is the company’s artificial intelligence upgrade. An Apple spokesman described Apple Intelligence to CNBC as a collection of “highly capable” large language and “diffusion models,” along with an “on-device semantic index” that works across apps to identify data and feed it to models. This upgrade impacts the Siri voice assistant and other functions.

The EU expects Big Tech to comply with its regulations and behave responsibly.

iPhone Mirroring allows users to see and control their iPhones from their Macs. SharePlay Screen Sharing enables FaceTime users to take control of others’ devices during conversations. Fred Sainz, Apple senior director of corporate communications, told The Verge in a statement:

“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,” Fred Sainz stated.

Apple is among the six corporations identified by the EU as “gatekeepers,” holding particularly powerful positions in their respective markets. Besides Apple, the other gatekeeper corporations are Alphabet, Amazon, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft. Together, these companies operate 22 “core platform services,” as outlined by EU lawmakers. Gatekeepers are now subject to the regulations of the Digital Markets Act, which became effective in May 2023.

The EU, being a vast market, imposes rules on gatekeepers regarding their interactions with third parties, users’ control over their data and generated data, and businesses’ rights to verify advertising hosted on their platforms, among other provisions.

Violating these rules can result in penalties of up to 10% of the company’s global annual turnover or up to 20% for repeated offenses, along with additional corrective measures. Apple is currently under investigation for its business practices within the EU.

Cointelegraph sought confirmation and additional information from Apple’s press department and Fred Sainz but did not receive immediate responses.

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