- A European Union bill would force companies to allow you to remove preinstalled apps from phones and computers.
- This digital services law would also force big techs to share data with their rivals.
- The final law is expected by the end of 2020.
Do you hate having non-removable bloatware on your phone or computer? In Europe, at least, you might not have to put up with it any longer. the Financial Times points out (via Reddit) that an EU bill, the Digital Services Act, would allow you to uninstall preinstalled apps on “major platforms.”
There aren’t many details, but the potential law could also prohibit companies from both preinstalling their own apps and forcing others to “exclusively” preinstall that software.
It’s unclear exactly which apps would be subject to the bill, although it seems primarily aimed at “big tech” companies that are making deals to include their apps, like Facebook and Google. The EU has fined Google for allegedly pushing phone makers to bundle its apps on Android phones. Google said companies weren’t obligated to include its apps, but that was recently called into question after Epic Games accused it of blocking LG and OnePlus deals that allegedly offered Fortnite and other software. beyond the Play Store.
Related: Android users are twice as likely to uninstall apps as iOS users
If passed, the legislation could theoretically allow you to uninstall apps from your carrier, not to mention preinstalled utilities that are not strictly essential for using your device.
The digital services law would also require large companies to share customer data with competitors involved in “the same business activities”. They should also limit the scope of data collection – advertising data cannot be used for other services, for example.
The bill is expected to be ready by the end of 2020. It could easily face resistance from Google and other tech companies who have argued for slight regulatory updates and oppose it. ‘labeling of certain companies as’ gatekeepers’. If successful, it could be good news not only for users who want more control over the devices they own, but also for creators of alternative apps that might otherwise get overlooked.