Mozilla Urges Action To Unpick Platform Browser Lock-ins
Thursday September 22, 2022. 10:40 PM , from Slashdot
As antitrust regulators around the world dial up scrutiny of platform power, Mozilla has published a piece of research digging into the at times subtle yet always insidious ways operating systems exert influence to keep consumers locked to using their own-brand browsers rather than seeking out and switching to independent options -- while simultaneously warning that competition in the browser market is vital to ensure innovation and choice for consumers and, more broadly, protect the vitality of the open web against the commercial giants trying to wall it up. TechCrunch: 'Billions of people across the globe are dependent on operating systems from the largest technology companies. Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Meta each provide their own browser on their operating systems and each of them uses their gatekeeper position provider to preference their own browsers over independent rivals. Whether it is Microsoft pushing Firefox users to switch their default on Windows computers, Apple restricting the functionality of rival browsers on iOS smartphones or Google failing to apply default browser settings across Android, there are countless examples of independent browsers being inhibited by the operating systems on which they are dependent,' Mozilla writes in a summary of its findings. 'This matters because American consumers and society as a whole suffer. Not only do people lose the ability to determine their own online experiences but they also receive less innovative and lower quality products. In addition, they can be forced to accept poorer privacy outcomes and even unfair contracts. By contrast, competition from independent browsers can help to drive new features, as well as innovation in areas like privacy and security.'
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