Apple on Wednesday welcomed a French competition authority decision (CNIL) to reject a request from French online advertising lobbies to suspend its App Tracking Transparency privacy feature in iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS.
Apple said in a statement:
We’re grateful to the French Competition Authority for recognizing that App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 is in the best interest of French iOS users.
ATT will provide a powerful user privacy benefit by requiring developers to ask users’ permission before sharing their data with other companies for the purposes of advertising, or with data brokers.
We firmly believe that users’ data belongs to them, and that they should control when that data is shared, and with whom.
In France, Apple still faces a probe into whether it unfairly favors its own products and services.
French groups IAB France, MMAF, SRI and UDECAM complained to the French watchdog last year, saying the feature would not affect Apple’s ability to send targeted ads to users of its own iOS software without seeking their prior consent.
The head of the watchdog, Isabelle de Silva, said she had worked closely with France’s CNIL data privacy regulator in deciding to reject the request to suspend the feature.
She said CNIL estimated the pop-up box put in place by Apple could benefit users in an ever-more complex online advertising environment, and was presented in clear and unbiased way, as requested by the European Union’s GDPR data protection rules.
These rules weighed heavily on the watchdog’s decision, de Silva said, as the authority went against the recommendations of its own investigators, who favoured suspending Apple’s privacy features.
Still, the watchdog said it would continue investigating whether Apple favours its own services and products, with a decision expected by early next year at the latest.
MacDailyNews Take: Government everywhere moves at the speed of light. (smirk)
Still, an excellent decision by CNIL to side with users over advertising lobbies who want to continue tracking users without their permission.
Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly. I’m an optimist; I believe people are smart, and some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with your data. — Steve Jobs