A group of European digital advertising associations, some of which are backed by Google and Facebook, on Friday criticized Apple’s plans to require apps to seek additional permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites.
In iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, all apps will now be required to obtain user permission before tracking. This includes connecting information collected about a user on an app or website owned by one company with information collected separately by other companies for targeted advertisements, for advertising measurement, or via data brokers.
Later this year, App Store product pages will feature summaries of developers’ self-reported privacy practices, displayed in a simple, easy-to-understand format. In addition, users can upgrade existing accounts to Sign in with Apple, choose to share their approximate location with app developers rather than their precise location when granting an app location access, and get even more transparency into an app’s use of the microphone and camera.
Apple last week disclosed features in its forthcoming operating system for iPhones and iPads that will require apps to show a pop-up screen before they enable a form of tracking commonly needed to show personalized ads.
Sixteen marketing associations faulted Apple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user consent under European privacy rules. Apps will now need to ask for permission twice, increasing the risk users will refuse, the associations argued.
Facebook and Google are the largest among thousands of companies that track online consumers to pick up on their habits and interests and serve them relevant ads.
The pop-up says an app “would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies” and gives the app developer several lines below the main text to explain why the permission is sought. It is not required until an app seeks access to a numeric identifier that can be used for tracking, and apps only need to secure permission once.
MacDailyNews Take: According to the Reuters report, Google, Facebook, and the other online advertisers worry that Apple’s new privacy tools will cause a “a high risk of user refusal.”
If your business is underpinned by doing something that, when known and clearly presented to your customers, carries “a high risk of user refusal,” your business isn’t really all that sound – as it depends on keeping things secret. It’s deception by omission.
What Apple has been doing with their focus on user privacy, which they continue to strengthen, Google likely anticipated (at least the possibility), and is quite likely the main reason why Google developed Android, mimicked the iPhone poorly, and gave it away for free.
Android was created in order for Google to get it into as many pigeons’ hands as possible so they could keep serving tracking ads without informing their oblivious user base.