There are currently two bills in Congress “American Innovation and Choice Online Act,” (HR 3816) and the “Ending Platform Monopolies Act,” (HR 3825) that would create additional challenges for consumers. HR 3816 would prevent Apple from preinstalling popular apps like Facetime and iMessage on new iPhones and iPads because doing so would be considered “discriminatory” to competing apps like Whatsapp and Zoom. Particularly during this pandemic, these features have allowed people to stay in touch with friends and family who could not and cannot gather because of safety protocols.
Many senior citizens use iPhones and iPads because they are safe, secure and easy to set up right out of the box. This legislation would create extra steps to access those technologies which may be particularly burdensome for seniors.
Congress is right to consider smart and targeted regulations for the tech industry that ensure fairness and protect consumers, but I fail to see how the breakup of popular and widely used services that are offered at no or little cost is in the interest of consumers or the general public. I hope our congressional leaders will oppose HR 3816 and HR 3825.