Barnes & Noble keeps pushing the party line that locking out 3rd party apps not approved through the Barnes & Noble App Store is for "security concerns" because the safety of those apps cannot be validated by Barnes & Noble in any way.
I know that there have been a number of threads here whining and unsupported and rambling complaints about the behaviors and actions taken by Barnes & Noble with respect to locking down the Nook Tablet, however I wish to present here instead a well formulated and supported argument why their presented argument for locking us out of loading unapproved 3rd party apps is morally wrong, and unjustifiable.
The fundamental issue behind this argument is that users might be injured or harmed by these unapproved 3rd party apps, and as a safety precaution, Barnes and Noble is preventing them from unintentionally being loaded on to our tablets, as well as pushing an update that one cannot refuse but to accept that blocks such actions as well.
However, in doing so, Barnes and Noble denies the agency of the user to make informed consensual choices. You have no choice in the matter of whether to install these "unacceptable" programs, because Barnes & Noble claims to know better than you, and they are only here to protect you. This is the behavior of parents in relation to their children, and early by husbands to their wives, and masters to their slaves.
In some cases, this denial of agency is appropriate, as is the case when dealing with children. Children are immature, and unable to understand full consequences of their choice, and that is why they are not allowed to enter into contracts, or any other such activity that requires informed consent, such as most elective surgeries.
However, the purchasers and users of the Nook Tablet are not children, and we are not incapable of forming informed consent with respect to security concerns. Especially those of us who are well experienced in computers and security matters are, if not better at evaluating security concerns, then just as capable of evaluating security concerns as Barnes & Noble is. Yet we are still treated just the same: as children, incapable of making our own self-determining choices.
And this is the root of the objections to these security lockdowns that Barnes & Noble seems intent on enforcing. The motives ascribed to this action are not the actions of a manufacturer, or producer and customer, but rather that of a parent to a child. Denying our self-determinism and ability to make informed choices, under the auspice of "we're doing it for your own safety." I'm sorry, Barnes & Noble, but I, as a self-determining adult, capable of my own informed choices reject this argument, and your product. No matter how good your product could be, by limiting us so greatly, you are denying my human rights to dignity.
Of course, the whole essay above is predicated on the argument that Barnes & Noble has taken their actions to "protect" us from our own poor choices. This of course, fails if you consider the more likely reason for Barnes & Noble taking this course of action, and that is: "we wish to lock you into our App Store and our content in order to increase our revenues and profits." This—unlike the argument suggested that we are incapable of making our own self-determing decisions—is not an immoral argument to make, but rather a perfectly reasonable business decision, even though it makes you look black-hearted and greedy. But certainly makes the most sense, after all, why would people overwhelmingly choose to pay $2.99 for Angry Birds on the Barnes & Noble App Store, when it is available free on the Android Market?
It is then, no wonder that one would attempt to spin the 1.4.1 side-loading lockout as "for your own good" instead of "because of corporate greed". However, it seemingly only makes the matter worse, because rather than being driven by a black-hearted corporate greed, which all corporations are necessarily a slave to; you instead present yourself as an ennobled benevolent dictator that can overrule any choice of the users in how they wish to use their own device, because they have no agency of their own, and are therefore incapable of forming their own informed choices.
Sic semper tyrranis. No matter how noble or benevolent, tyrrants must be opposed.