French advertisers file complaint over Apple's iOS 14 privacy plan

Posted:
in General Discussion
A collection of advertisers and publishers in France have filed a complaint with the country's competition authority, claiming that iOS 14's blocking of automatic ad tracking will severely affect revenues.

Users will be asked to give permission app-by-app for ad tracking
Users will be asked to give permission app-by-app for ad tracking


Following months of complaints, a coalition of French advertisers and publishers have taken their case to France's French Autorite de la Concurrence (ADLC).

The coalition includes Interactive Advertising Bureau France, Mobile Marketing Association France, Syndicat des Regies Internet, and Union Des Entreprises de Conseil et Achat Media. They reportedly hope France will force Apple to further delay the changes, which had originally been set for September 2020.

Apple now intends to introduce the feature in 2021. When it's in place, all iPhone users will be specifically asked permission before any ad is allowed to track them.

The companies in the French consortium have previously pointed out that because of European regulations over GDPR data protection, iOS 14 users are effectively going to be asked twice, every time.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the coalition argues that this creates a barrier that will mean most users choosing to refuse ad tracking.

"At the highest level, this is a novel case -- a truly important case-- because it deals with the use of privacy as a sort of fig leaf for anticompetitive conduct," said Damien Geradin, the competition lawyer who represents the coalition. "We think that this is the sort of thing that will arise increasingly in the future."

"Particularly at the moment of a global pandemic crisis, it's not a good time to have another hit," said Nicolas Rieul, chair of Interactive Advertising Bureau France.

Advertisers fear a repeat of iOS's asking for permission to track location, which has seen very many users choose to block it
Advertisers fear a repeat of iOS's asking for permission to track location, which has seen very many users choose to block it


In response, an Apple spokesperson has reportedly repeated the company's stance that, "privacy is a fundamental right."

"A user's data belongs to them and they should get to decide whether to share their data and with whom," continued the spokesperson.

The coalition has pointed out that users will not be asked to accept ad tracking when using Apple apps. Apple, however, argues that because it does not share user data with other companies, it is not ad tracking in the industry's traditional sense.

Users know that the data is going to Apple, that it is not being sold to other firms to help target people with advertising. "These rules apply equally to all developers -- including Apple," said the spokesperson.

The new ad-tracking feature is part of Apple's plan for increased privacy, which also includes Sign In with Apple, which was announced at the same time.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    As long as Apple does it with all advertisers and doesn’t let Google slip through the cracks, I don’t see this going anywhere.

    I don’t remember a “right to spy” on users being a law in the EU.
    rob53svanstromelijahgviclauyyccornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Meanwhile the local robbers union is suing the police for decrease in profitability, and increased stress due to uncomfortable working conditions.
    elijahgrcfaviclauyycapplguyBombdoeuraharachasmcornchipmaestro64watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    What's French for "F**k you."

    rattuswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    As long as Apple does it with all advertisers and doesn’t let Google slip through the cracks, I don’t see this going anywhere.

    I don’t remember a “right to spy” on users being a law in the EU.
    If Apple does it with all advertisers, including Apple, then it won't go anywhere.  As it stands, Apple excluding it's tracking based on not-really-clever weasel wording is disingenuous at best.  You say you don't want Apple to let Google slip through the cracks, but it would be the same crack Apple provided for itself.  Google doesn't share user data with companies.  They build anonymized profiles to sell ad-space to companies.  They jealously guard that user data like a junkie guards his stash.  It's how they get paid.  

    So Apple's lame excuse works for both companies.  Now, again, if Apple inclusively applies the rules equally across the board... with everyone, I agree it probably won't go anywhere.  If they try to leave that exception for their tracking only it's going to go somewhere really quickly.  It's just France now.  That exception can lead to questions across the EU and the rest of the world.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 16
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    Tracking should ALWAYS be an opt in thing. Not just on-line but with credit cards and anything else. I am glad Apple is taking steps. That tracking in any form has somehow become acceptable is just so very wrong. 
    lordjohnwhorfinronnviclauyycmac_doguraharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    paxman said:
    Tracking should ALWAYS be an opt in thing. Not just on-line but with credit cards and anything else. I am glad Apple is taking steps. That tracking in any form has somehow become acceptable is just so very wrong. 
    The fact that advertisers are boohooing worldwide should give you an idea about how much they've been spying on us. Thank you Apple. Consumer unions should be filing amicus briefs left and right.
    viclauyycmac_dogchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    paxman said:
    Tracking should ALWAYS be an opt in thing. Not just on-line but with credit cards and anything else. I am glad Apple is taking steps. That tracking in any form has somehow become acceptable is just so very wrong. 
    The fact that advertisers are boohooing worldwide should give you an idea about how much they've been spying on us. Thank you Apple. Consumer unions should be filing amicus briefs left and right.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    Your honors, Apple is allowing users to keep their privacy when we used to have the ability to track them into the toilet.

    This will have a negative affect on our advertising - how will we know when to push toilet paper?

    We are EU companies ... we know there's the GDPR but we feel it should only be enforced against non-EU companies. If it's an EU company doing the data harvesting, we feel we have a right to all the user's data.

    Thank you for your consideration.
    ronnviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Rayz2016 said:
    What's French for "F**k you."

    "va te faire foutre"
    headfull0wineviclauyycfotoformatcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    This from the country that has never really supported individual rights when there was a buck to be made by someone! In a past century, France made it illegal for folks to open their window shutters during the day because of unfair competition from the sun! Forcing the citizenry to buy candles and lamp oil to see during the day in their own homes.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    Can the users file suit against the Advertisers and Publishers 'We don't want your stinking ads'?

    Quid-pro-quo


    viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    I’m just disappointed that Apple didn’t add the feature in iOS 14. 

    As for the advertisers, they don’t have the rights to any users information. Every user has the right to refused being tracked online. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,389member
    Good luck with this in the country (part of the EU) that coined the phrase “the right to be forgotten,” and helped advance the GDPR.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,249member
    They are free to advertise all they want. They just can’t track. I don’t see what the problem is. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    I’m just disappointed that Apple didn’t add the feature in iOS 14. 

    As for the advertisers, they don’t have the rights to any users information. Every user has the right to refused being tracked online. 
    It shouldn't be viewed/phrased as a right to refuse, because that implies that it somehow is the work/responsibility of the user to deny/opt-out/not accept; instead it should be viewed, and legally demanded, that it is based on the freedom of the user to opt-in (in an informed manor).

    Like my local supermarket can't just silently add a 10 EUR purchase and demand that I every time hit the opt-out button before okaying the payment; but they can ask if I want to add something, to which I very obviously must agree before they proceed to charge me for it. THAT is how tracking must function, that I as a user must go out of my way to opt-in; not that I per default are tricked into accepting it due to some convoluted weird language or complex structure of 100s of opt-out buttons for each vendor (like with some cookie-stuff).

    Also, you can today use something like this to prevent a lot of the tracking done today: https://lockdownprivacy.com/
    OctoMonkeywatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 16
    JonGJonG Posts: 15unconfirmed, member
    As long as Apple does it with all advertisers and doesn’t let Google slip through the cracks, I don’t see this going anywhere.

    I don’t remember a “right to spy” on users being a law in the EU.
    If Apple does it with all advertisers, including Apple, then it won't go anywhere.  As it stands, Apple excluding it's tracking based on not-really-clever weasel wording is disingenuous at best.  You say you don't want Apple to let Google slip through the cracks, but it would be the same crack Apple provided for itself.  Google doesn't share user data with companies.  They build anonymized profiles to sell ad-space to companies.  They jealously guard that user data like a junkie guards his stash.  It's how they get paid.  

    So Apple's lame excuse works for both companies.  Now, again, if Apple inclusively applies the rules equally across the board... with everyone, I agree it probably won't go anywhere.  If they try to leave that exception for their tracking only it's going to go somewhere really quickly.  It's just France now.  That exception can lead to questions across the EU and the rest of the world.

    The problem with your assertion is that Apple no longer runs an advertising network. They failed spectacularly at it precisely because they didn't do user tracking and had a sky-high minimum buy. So basically they are trying to enforce what they thought best practice was for a non-invasive ad network to run. So Apple doesn't sell the data, and they have no ad network in which to use the data either. They have a good argument.

    As for Google... Google *IS* the third party in this example. Because I don't spend any time in a "Google App" that might be tracking me. I spend time in apps that display ads from google and part of being within the google network, is that you have to pass metric data to them if you want to get the best ads. So this is developers being restricted from sharing data with GOOGLE, who is the third party and is buying your data from the developer who is collecting it as a first party.

    The idea of sign-on with Apple further restricts that because then it is your option to even share your eMail with a first party developer, meaning that you can basically create a throw-away email that once you discover that the company you signed up with is distributing that email address, then you can shut it down and know who it was that violated your privacy by sharing data without your permission. It is the same as using [username]+[some unique code]@gmail.com, because you will know from the unique code you used which site published or leaked your email address.

    edited October 2020 watto_cobra
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