Privacy in focus: Associations file competition complaint against Apple – Apple takes a stand | message
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In the future, apps on the iPhone and iPad will have to ask users’ permission if they want to track their behavior across different services and websites for advertising purposes. Since many users are likely to decline this, various providers fear for their advertising business.
Eight associations have now filed a complaint about abuse with the Federal Cartel Office. “We’ll take a look at them now,” said a spokesman for the authorities on Monday. Apple responded to the complaint: “We believe privacy is a fundamental human right.” The data belonged to the users, “and they should be able to decide for themselves how their data is used and by whom”. Support was received from authorities and data security officers for the function.
The associations criticize that the group “in fact excludes all competitors from processing commercially relevant data in the Apple ecosystem”. At the same time, however, Apple is exempting its own services from the planned changes and collecting considerable amounts of user data itself. The company countered: “These rules apply equally to all developers – including Apple.”
The complaint was submitted by the Central Association of the German Advertising Industry ZAW, the organization of the media agencies OMG, the Markenverband and the publishers’ associations BDZV and VDZ.
The new rules will take effect with the next version of the iPhone operating system – iOS 14.5. Apple devices have a special identification number, the IDFA, so that app providers can recognize a user to personalize their advertising. In the future, app providers will have to explicitly ask users for permission if they want to access this ID. Industry observers assume that many users will reject tracking for advertising purposes.
The German associations argue that “the information content of the declaration given by Apple is so superficial that app developers cannot adequately educate their users about the purposes of data processing”.
Apple had already announced the new procedure called “App Tracking Transparency” (ATT) last summer – but the implementation was postponed to give the app providers time to make the change. In addition to the iPhone, the rules also apply to iPads and the Apple TV box – but not to Mac computers.
In the past few months, Facebook in particular was storming Apple’s plans. Founder and boss Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly warned, among other things, that the new procedure would put a strain on the business of small and medium-sized companies, which are particularly dependent on personalized advertising during the corona pandemic. The makers of the photo app Snapchat on the other hand, welcomed the changes and announced that they wanted to adapt.
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