French regulator denies advertiser's plea to block Apple anti-tracking feature

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 17
French regulators couldn't find fault in Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature despite advertisers' concerns over small business revenue, and, as such, won't enjoin it even before it launches.

Facebook will have to ask users to track them across apps and websites
Facebook will have to ask users to track them across apps and websites


Apple promised its App Tracking Transparency feature would arrive in the slew of Spring operating system updates. ATT will allow users to opt-in to tracking features used by third-party advertisers.

After Apple's announcement of an impending release, advertisers approached French regulators about the feature. The regulators were not able to find fault in Apple's approach to privacy opt-in.

"We can't intervene just because there might be a negative impact for companies in the ecosystem," said Isabelle de Silva, head of France's competition authority, at a press conference. "At this stage, we haven't found flagrant examples of discrimination."

The regulator will pursue an in-depth investigation to determine whether Apple's ATT feature could be biased. This investigation could stretch into 2022.

"We firmly believe that users' data belongs to them, and that they should control when that data is shared, and with whom," an Apple spokesman said.

Apple is essentially giving iPhone users a choice to turn off a tracking feature that has been used by advertisers for years. The move has caused an uproar from companies like Facebook.

Facebook has taken out full-page newspaper ads, barraged small businesses with media, and openly stated that the feature will reduce profits. There has been little evidence to support Facebook's claims as companies like Twitter see the feature as an equalizer for competitors.

Apple provided a comment to AppleInsider and other venues on Wednesday afternoon.
"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. We look forward to further engagement with the FCA on this critical matter of user privacy and competition."
Update March 17, 3:13 PM Eastern time Added statement from Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,638member
    Finally a country with some sense. 
    fotoformatbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 525member
    👏 Good decision.
    baconstangjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 874member
    How these digital stalkers think they have a right to anything belonging to others privacy is just brazen arrogance.

    In my work - healthcare - we are governed under the HIPPA law and disclosure of information comes with a considerable fine and the possibility of jail time. These people steal far more sensitive information from you without your consent and then sell it to whomever they please for profit.
    lkrupprob53baconstangviclauyycdarkvaderjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,511member
    When do EU countries have their own regulators and when do they use EU regulators?
  • Reply 5 of 13
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,653member
    despite advertiser's concerns over small business revenue.

    Yes, I'm sure Facebook and other ad companies are really concerned about small business revenue.

    I think part of the problem here is that when you present a false rationale to a court, it has to at least be plausible.

    baconstangmuthuk_vanalingamjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 511member
    rob53 said:
    Finally a country with some sense. 
    I would like to think you are right, but it is the EU and the French. This is way far away from the finish line and their socialist economic ideology has a long history of punishing success and subsidizing inefficiency and failure.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 511member

    When do EU countries have their own regulators and when do they use EU regulators?
    As soon as they don't get their way with one group they turn to the other group. It is very similar to jurisdiction shopping by lawyers in America. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,005member
    davgreg said:
    How these digital stalkers think they have a right to anything belonging to others privacy is just brazen arrogance.

    In my work - healthcare - we are governed under the HIPPA law and disclosure of information comes with a considerable fine and the possibility of jail time. These people steal far more sensitive information from you without your consent and then sell it to whomever they please for profit.
    The information typically gleaned by these apps that is used by advertisers consists of things like age, gender, shopping preferences, and location.  While people have a right to privacy in that kind of information, it is nowhere near as sensitive as health information, such as their blood type or details of someone's cancer treatment.

    You don't do privacy advocates any favors by throwing our patently absurd examples.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,005member

    When do EU countries have their own regulators and when do they use EU regulators?
    Countries enforce their own laws.
    spheric
  • Reply 10 of 13
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,092member
    tommikele said:

    When do EU countries have their own regulators and when do they use EU regulators?
    As soon as they don't get their way with one group they turn to the other group. It is very similar to jurisdiction shopping by lawyers in America. 
    You know how in the United States, you have federal laws and state laws? 

    Kind of like that. 

    We don't actually have an equivalent to the ridiculous "jurisdiction shopping" you get in the States. 
    darkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,452member
    I hope the regulators keep privacy and security in mind when they discuss breaking up Apple or forcing Apple to allow third party app stores. People want privacy but I also think many have given up that dream and accept that their lives are an open book on the internet. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 589member
    lkrupp said:
    I hope the regulators keep privacy and security in mind when they discuss breaking up Apple or forcing Apple to allow third party app stores. People want privacy but I also think many have given up that dream and accept that their lives are an open book on the internet. 

    Huh?  Neither of those things have anything to do with privacy or security.

    Apple should absolutely be forced to allow sideloading apps. It's not like they don't understand the concept, it's the standard on the Mac, almost nobody gets apps from Apple's Mac app store.

    And Apple absolutely should be broken up at this point.  No company should be allowed to be involved in both media production and distribution, whether that be Comcrap, ATT, Amazon, or Apple.  All four are, and all four should be broken up.  And I'd like to see Apple split up further, either a split of the iDevice division from the Mac division or a split of hardware and operating system divisions.  As big as Apple is, maybe even both splits; a phone and tablet hardware company, a phone and tablet software company, a computer hardware company, and a computer software company.  Split the others too, take apart Amazon's media production, spy hardware, bookstore, and general store divisions.  Splitting ATT into smaller bits like they did in the '80s didn't work, so this time split the wires from the services, take away media production, and split the cell towers from the cell service.  Do the same with Comcrap.

    Oh, and shut down F*c*book.  They add no value to the world whatsoever, so no splits, just fine them the entire value of the company, shut down the servers and sell them for scrap.  Put *uckerberg in the stocks so people can throw rotten fruit at him.

    And ban ad tracking.  ALL of it.  Advertising can go back to the old days when if you wanted to advertise you put your ad out there, and you have no idea who sees it, how many people see it, and the only way you get any feedback at all is the digital equivalent of somebody cutting a coupon out of the paper, somebody has to buy something from it.  A website can tell you "We served the page your ad was on 50,000 times, but can't tell you to who, and can't tell you if it was displayed or blocked, just like a newspaper can't tell you if a particular copy was bought to wrap fish or line the birdcage and never read.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,092member
    darkvader said:
    lkrupp said:
    I hope the regulators keep privacy and security in mind when they discuss breaking up Apple or forcing Apple to allow third party app stores. People want privacy but I also think many have given up that dream and accept that their lives are an open book on the internet. 

    Huh?  Neither of those things have anything to do with privacy or security.

    Apple should absolutely be forced to allow sideloading apps. It's not like they don't understand the concept, it's the standard on the Mac, almost nobody gets apps from Apple's Mac app store.
    The only major malware cases I've seen on the Macs of other users in the last decade or so have been caused by sideloading apps. Apple absolutely understands the concept, and the risks, and that is exactly why they've been systematically locking down the Mac over the past few years to the point where the system and preinstalled apps are locked away on their own write-protected partition. 

    The only software I use that I DON'T get from the Mac App Store is audio plug-ins and one of my production suites.

    And Apple absolutely should be broken up at this point.  No company should be allowed to be involved in both media production and distribution, whether that be Comcrap, ATT, Amazon, or Apple.  All four are, and all four should be broken up.  And I'd like to see Apple split up further, either a split of the iDevice division from the Mac division or a split of hardware and operating system divisions.  As big as Apple is, maybe even both splits; a phone and tablet hardware company, a phone and tablet software company, a computer hardware company, and a computer software company.  Split the others too, take apart Amazon's media production, spy hardware, bookstore, and general store divisions.  Splitting ATT into smaller bits like they did in the '80s didn't work, so this time split the wires from the services, take away media production, and split the cell towers from the cell service.  Do the same with Comcrap.

    Oh, and shut down F*c*book.  They add no value to the world whatsoever, so no splits, just fine them the entire value of the company, shut down the servers and sell them for scrap.  Put *uckerberg in the stocks so people can throw rotten fruit at him.

    And ban ad tracking.  ALL of it.  Advertising can go back to the old days when if you wanted to advertise you put your ad out there, and you have no idea who sees it, how many people see it, and the only way you get any feedback at all is the digital equivalent of somebody cutting a coupon out of the paper, somebody has to buy something from it.  A website can tell you "We served the page your ad was on 50,000 times, but can't tell you to who, and can't tell you if it was displayed or blocked, just like a newspaper can't tell you if a particular copy was bought to wrap fish or line the birdcage and never read.
    I disagree on breaking up Apple. Beyond that, I'm with you. 
    watto_cobra
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