Apple accused in France of not following its own privacy rules

Illustration for the article titled Apple's Struggle Over Your iPhone's Privacy Settings Is Now An International Trend

Photo: Mladen antonov (fake images)

For years, Apple has built a reputation as possibly the only major technology company with a semi-decent set of privacy practices. But a new complaint Launched against the company alleges that some of Apple’s latest measures have less to do with privacy and more to do with gaining an edge over its competitors, a claim Apple was quick to reject..

That’s according to the French pressure group France Digitale, which told Bloomberg that he was filing a complaint with the country’s data authority, the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés, or CNIL for short, about Apple’s own targeted advertising business. According to the lobby, that furthers the interests of startups and venture capitalists, despite the recent mandate from the Cupertino giant that requires third-party developers to Get user consent before tracking and targeting them – Apple’s own targeted ad delivery systems do this by default – no consent required.

An Apple spokesperson told Bloomberg in a statement that the allegations made by France Digitale they are “obviously false” and practically boil down to “a bad attempt by those who track users to distract themselves from their own actions.”

While targeted advertising may not be something we think of when we hear the word “Apple,” the company does, in fact, have its own. targeting ad settings on people’s iPhones and iPads. These ads are specifically posted within the App Skicked off, on Apple News or, oddly enough, inside Apple dedicated stock app.

For Apple’s own privacy policiesPublishing ads on these different services requires some “contextual information” about your Apple account, such as the type of device, the language in which you have configured your device, or your mobile operator.

Apple’s own targeted advertising business isn’t talked about much, not even Apple. In many ways, this makes sense; the company is currently in a fairly heated battle with other giants in the ad tech industry, most notably Facebook, about some of its not-so-ad-friendly updates to ios 14. One of the basic principles of the mobile operating system is a feature known as App Tracking Transparency (or ATT for short) that you can read everything about here. Simply put, ATT requires third parties applications such as Facebook to ask users for permission before tracking them in the different applications and services they use.

But as the France Digitale complaint states, Apple’s own ad serving systems do not need to comply with these ATT provisions, allowing Apple to track and target iOS users by default, without the need for permission. The lobbyist summed it up by telling Bloomberg that iOS users are “insufficiently informed about the use and processing of their personal data.”

NeverthelessAs Apple pointed out, its own ad serving systems are not designed to track users across multiple apps, which is the behavior ATT was designed to curb in the first place. Instead, the company says Apple’s personalized ads are targeted based on broad categories, such as the country or city they live in, their age or gender. Apple also allows users to directly manipulate the company’s ability to serve these types of personalized ads. directly inside your iPhone settings.


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