Apple Criticised For App User Tracking Alert

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Plan for iOS 14 to give app users the option to decline ad tracking has been criticised (surprise, surprise) by advertising associations

A group of European digital advertising associations has reportedly criticised Apple’s plans for its forthcoming iOS 14 operating system.

Buried among the slew of new developments with this new iOS, was the fact that Apple will now require apps to seek additional permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites.

This has not gone down well with advertisers, and according to Reuters, sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook and Alphabet’s Google, has slammed Apple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user consent under European privacy rules.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook at WWDC 2020. Image credit: Apple
Apple chief executive Tim Cook at WWDC 2020. Image credit: Apple

User tracking

Essentially, these associations are arguing that Apple’s stance means that apps will now need to ask for permission twice, increasing the risk users will refuse.

Apple had last month revealed at its annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), that app developers would now need to provide more information about the data they collect on users, with Apple displaying a summary of how apps use data such as location or tracking information.

Essentially, apps will be required to show a pop-up screen before they enable a form of tracking commonly needed to show personalised ads.

It should be remembered that Facebook and Google are two of the biggest players that track online consumers to pick up on their habits and interests, and serve them relevant ads.

Apple said that the new feature was aimed at giving users greater transparency over how their information is being used.

But the group of European marketing firms, according to Reuters, said the pop-up warning and the limited ability to customise it still carries “a high risk of user refusal.”

Quiz: How well do you know Apple?

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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