EU’s Vestager warns Apple to treat all apps equally with privacy consent tool

Europe’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, has warned Apple to give equal treatment to all apps on its platform as the company institutes a new privacy tool that Facebook complains will hamper ad revenue as users decide not to allow apps to track them without their explicit consent.

A new App Tracking Transparency feature across iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies.
A new App Tracking Transparency feature across iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies.

Foo Yun Chee for Reuters:

Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition
Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition
Apple will in the spring ask iPhone users for consent to track their data for personalized ads in what it says is a move to protect users’ privacy but which will limit apps’ ability to gather data from people’s phones that can be used for targeted advertising.

Vestager said while the issue is privacy-related, it can morph into an antitrust issue if Apple tilts the level playing field.

“It can be competition if it is shown that Apple is not treating its own apps in the same way,” she told Reuters in an interview on Monday.

Vestager said so far she has not received any complaint about Apple’s changes.

The company has said the opt-out option would apply to all developers who track users – including Apple itself – but because its advertising platform does not track users, the option is a moot point.

MacDailyNews Take: Ooh, another empty “warning” from the ditz Vestager.

The fact is that protecting iPhone users’ privacy by offering control and choice is a winning position for Apple. Complaining about Apple for further protecting iPhone users’ privacy says everything you need to know about Facebook.

In essence Facebook is trying to sell this: “Apple is bad for giving users choice and the ability to not be tracked. We’d rather retain the status quo, so we can continue track users in secret and sell their data for our profit.” Facebook can keep all of the failing newspapers in the world afloat with full-page ads for infinity and that’ll still be a losing campaign.

The bottom line is that Facebook doesn’t give a rat’s ass about its users, or “small business,” or any other line of bullshit their crack psyops team concocts, Facebook just wants to keep tracking users in secret, without their explicit consent, so they can sell their users for higher-prices via targeted ads.

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realise that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. – Apple CEO Tim Cook, September 2014

1 Comment

  1. Her preemptive warning against a zero problem clearly indicates that the US’s popular anti-education culture and the hard Right GOP base’s pride in thinking uncritically has metastasized into the EU’s leadership. So the GOP base’s mistrust of the EU does not make sense. It should embrace the EU.

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