French Watchdog Investigating Apple's Personalized Advertising Practices After Allegations of Hypocrisy

Apple is to be investigated by France's data-protection watchdog following allegations that the company's personalized advertising feature violates European Union data protection and e-privacy rules (via Bloomberg).

applestorefrance

The National Commission on Informatics and Liberty, known as "CNIL," is France's regulator that oversees privacy and data. CNIL is now examining antitrust allegations from France Digitale, a lobbying group representing startups and venture capital companies, about Apple's personalized advertising practices.

Apple displays personalized ads in the App Store, Apple News, and the Stocks app based on collected user data, but does not request consent before doing so.

Four French advertising lobbies have highlighted that Apple's changes to App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14, which requests user permission to be tracked across apps and websites for advertising purposes, do not extend to Apple itself. Apple can still deliver personalized advertising via a default setting, the lobbies have said, thereby holding itself to a different standard.

France Digitale alleges in its complaint that users are "insufficiently informed" about the use and processing of their personal data by Apple. Apple has now responded to the claim, calling the allegations "patently false," and said that "privacy is built into the ads we sell on our platform with no tracking."

The investigation may result in requests for Apple to make adjustments to its personalized advertising systems, or even an in-depth probe with sanctions. EU General Data Protection Regulation law allows data regulators to levy fines of as much as four percent of a company's annual sales for breaches.

A ruling is expected as soon as March 17, and Bloomberg claims that the result could have "implications" for Apple's personalized advertising in a future iOS 14 update.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
macbook pro january

Best Buy's Black Friday in July Sale Takes Up to $700 Off M3 MacBook Pro for Members

Monday July 15, 2024 11:05 am PDT by
Best Buy's "Black Friday in July" sale is in full swing today, and in addition to a few iPad Air discounts we shared earlier, there are also some steep markdowns on the M3 MacBook Pro. You will need a My Best Buy Plus or Total membership in order to get some of these deals. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small...
ipaos 18 image playground

Apple Releases First iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 Public Betas

Monday July 15, 2024 1:16 pm PDT by
Apple today provided the first betas of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 to public beta testers, bringing the new software to the general public for the first time since the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Apple has seeded three developer betas so far, and the first public beta includes the same content that's in the third developer beta. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
maxresdefault

Apple's AirPods Pro 2 vs. Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro

Saturday July 13, 2024 8:00 am PDT by
Samsung this week introduced its latest earbuds, the Galaxy Buds3 Pro, which look quite a bit like Apple's AirPods Pro 2. Given the similarities, we thought we'd compare Samsung's new earbuds to the AirPods Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, you could potentially mistake Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro for the AirPods Pro. The Buds3 Pro have the same...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
Generic iOS 18 Feature Real Mock

Apple Seeds Revised Third Betas of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 to Developers

Monday July 15, 2024 10:09 am PDT by
Apple today seeded updated third betas iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 to developers for testing purposes, with the software coming a week after Apple initially released the third betas. Registered developers are able to opt into the betas by opening up the Settings app, going to the Software Update section, tapping on the "Beta Updates" option, and toggling on the ‌iOS 18/iPadOS 18‌ Developer Beta ...

Top Rated Comments

RalfTheDog Avatar
44 months ago
France says that Apple is tracking users on their own apps. Apple says they are not. I wonder what evidence the French government has. Are they willing to publicly post it?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
44 months ago
So this is about....money?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Captain Trips Avatar
44 months ago
You know, I don't doubt that some investigations / accusations have merit - no one (individual or organization of individuals) is perfect.

But recently it seems like "pile on Apple" time.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
az431 Avatar
44 months ago

France says that Apple is tracking users on their own apps. Apple says they are not. I wonder what evidence the French government has. Are they willing to publicly post it?
Zero.

Advertising companies collect and use data from third-party apps for the purpose of tracking users to serve personalized ads without users of those apps knowing who, what, or why data is being collected.

For that reason, Apple now requires developers to obtain permission before collecting data when it is used for tracking by third-parties. The same exact rule applies to Apple, however, Apple does not collect data for tracking by third-parties, so there will never be a permission prompt.

This doesn't only apply to Apple. If Google wanted to use the data in its own Gmail app to serve personalized ads without the prompt, it could do that. The problem is it also makes that data available to third parties (advertisers), which makes it fall within the requirement. Google can't do that because its entire business model revolves around making that data available to advertisers. Same with FaceBook.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jdclifford Avatar
44 months ago
"Allegations of Hypocrisy"? Is that a crime in France? Sacre Bleu! Does it really matter whether Apple runs personalized or generic ads in its apps?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
44 months ago
Everyone’s after Apple’s money ?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)