Apple is facing an initial investigation from France’s CNIL data-protection watchdog following a complaint from France Digitale, a lobbying group representing startups and venture capital firms, that Apple’s personalized advertising tool violates European Union privacy rules.
France Digitale says Apple’s personalized advertising feature — which shows ads in the App Store, Apple News, and the Stocks app — is based on users’ data, but doesn’t seek consent before sending targeted ads. The complaint comes as Apple is preparing to release an iPhone and iPad software update that limits how much data third-party advertising systems, such as those from Facebook Inc., can gather about users.
Users are “insufficiently informed” about the use and the processing of their personal data, France Digitale wrote in its complaint submitted last week to CNIL… Apple pointed to its previous comments on the matter when it called the allegations “patently false” and said “privacy is built into the ads we sell on our platform with no tracking.”
The investigation may eventually be dismissed, lead to requests for Apple to make adjustments to its system or become an in-depth probe with CNIL imposing sanctions, spokesman Yohann Brunet said. The timing of the probe is undefined, he said.
MacDailyNews Note: Apple Search Ads don’t buy or share users’ personal information with other companies. Apple does not track people by linking user or device data collected from Apple apps with user or device data collected from third parties for advertising targeting or measurement. And Apple does not share user or device data with data brokers. Users’ Apple Pay transactions, Health app data, and HomeKit app data are not used by Apple Search Ads to deliver ads.
Users can view and limit the personal information Apple uses to deliver relevant ads to them. They may also prevent location-based information from being used to determine which ads they see.
Learn how to limit the personalization of ads delivered by Apple on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac, and how to turn off location-based ads delivered by Apple on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac here.
Advertisers have the ability to deliver targeted ads to customer segments, which are groups of people with similar characteristics. Each segment must contain at least 5000 people, which ensures that no customer can be individually targeted.
To ensure Apple delivers the most relevant ads, Apple Search Ads may use the following:
• Account Information: This includes the information a customer includes in their Apple ID account.
• App Store Data: This includes information provided by developers to define and categorize their apps. It also includes insights derived from non-personal historical search terms, App Store downloads, App Store browsing activity, and in-app purchases made through the App Store.
• App Transaction Data: This includes historical information about users’ transactions on the App Store, including apps they’ve downloaded and in-app purchases they’ve made.
• Contextual Information: This includes a customer’s device type, iOS version, time of day, device location, and search query.
• Developer Data: Consistent with Apple’s policies on tracking, this may include information that individual developers have collected through their relationship with users based on their direct interactions with them. This information is only available for use by the specific developer (and their authorized agents) in the creation and display of Apple Search Ads, and is not available for use by other third parties.