EU demanding Apple give equal treatment to all apps in privacy shakeup

Posted:
in iOS edited February 8
Apple needs to treat all apps equally with regard to its inbound privacy features including its own, says EU antitrust head Margrethe Vestager.




Apple is in the process of introducing its App Tracking Transparency features to iOS 14. The features will require apps to ask permission to track a user's device, enabling for targeted advertising to be displayed.

Critics have already complained about the privacy-based feature. Now, the European Union is also getting involved.

According to EU Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit For the Digital Age and Competition Vestager, Apple needs to provide equal treatment when it is implemented. According to Reuters, the competition chief suggests this could become an antitrust issue if it doesn't apply the rules to itself.

"It can be competition if it is shown that Apple is not treating its own apps in the same way," Vestager said in an interview on Monday.

So far, Vestager claims she hasn't received any complaints about Apple's upcoming changes.

Such a complaint is likely to come from Facebook, which is begrudgingly accepting Apple's changes while still complaining. Fearing a loss of revenue from the potentially reduced tracking, Facebook has campaigned for Apple to reconsider the ATT implementation.

These attacks have included a newspaper campaign and alerts to business users. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also declared the privacy features were in Apple's "competitive interests" to implement.

Facebook has even threatened a lawsuit over the features. A report from January suggested the suit would allege Apple "abused its power in the smartphone market by forcing app developers to abide by App Store rules that Apple's own apps do not have to follow."

Vestager is still positive on Apple's move, despite the potential antitrust issues. "It's a very good thing to have a clear opt-out option," she said. "If you look at the Digital Services Act, the Digital Markets Act, these are some of the solutions we are looking at there."

The European Union is currently in the process of producing new rules that will affect the activities of major tech companies like Apple. The rules aim to curtail the power platform-controllers have, with the threat of hefty fines for failing to comply.

These rules can include forcing Apple to be as fair as possible with its App Store listings, in not promoting its own over third-party developers. It may also affect how Apple Pay is used within the continent.

Both Apple Pay and the App Store are subjects of antitrust investigations by the EU.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    Well that’s a box easily ticked. 
    anantksundaramsphericwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 24
    I don’t know how it is with you, but each time I see an article about regulators on Apple and latest when I start reading my pulse starts rising involuntarily. Maybe, because quotes are taken out of context. However, would it _kill_ anybody there to kind of appreciate an initiative like this, and in that context express their hopes that obviously Apple should comply with their own rules? No, first statement it seems simply must be “beware! Do as I say, or else…”
    superklotonanantksundaramborpsbshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 24
    I don’t know how it is with you, but each time I see an article about regulators on Apple and latest when I start reading my pulse starts rising involuntarily.”
    Well, I think it is fair to asked apple to do the same thing as they did to others. It is not like apple harvest any personal data like google or FB. 

    Given how random/mess-up the apps that App Store suggested to me, I don’t thing they collect any of my app habits.
    rcfawatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 24
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    Apple couldn’t care less: everything they collect is opt-in already, and they don’t make their money tracking people…
    superklotonanantksundaramdavensphericaderutterbshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 24
    mobirdmobird Posts: 661member
    Apple should be the "gold" standard in displaying the Nutritionals on their own apps on their own app store.
    Don't be hypocritical and don't give them reason to question your own actions or lack of them regarding rules and app store agreements.
    borps
  • Reply 6 of 24
    Apple needs to be careful. Even though the wording clearly states "across other companies‘ apps", I can imagine Facebook or some consumers going after Apple because Apple tracks activity across its own apps, specially if Apple public statements about its apps aren’t transparent and truthful.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    gc_ukgc_uk Posts: 110member
    rcfa said:
    Apple couldn’t care less: everything they collect is opt-in already,
    In the EU every citizen has a right to data privacy. Companies must be clear about what information they collect and why, citizens can request the data held on them and have it corrected if required.
    rcfa said:
    and they don’t make their money tracking people…
    iAds.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    gc_uk said:
    rcfa said:
    Apple couldn’t care less: everything they collect is opt-in already,
    In the EU every citizen has a right to data privacy. Companies must be clear about what information they collect and why, citizens can request the data held on them and have it corrected if required.
    rcfa said:
    and they don’t make their money tracking people…
    iAds.
    iAd is discontinued:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IAd
    StrangeDaysdavensphericbshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 24
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,520member
    This is clickbait.  This is based in comments from the/an EU competition official.  It is not based on any actual demand — no legislation, court order, or other official demand is mentioned.  So, as of now, the EU has not demanded or is not demanding anything of Apple in this regard.   This is not to say that the officials comments shouldn’t be taken as a “hint” or “clue” as to what future demands might look like.  But as is the headline is misleading. 


    crowleysphericwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    rcfa said:
    Apple couldn’t care less: everything they collect is opt-in already, and they don’t make their money tracking people…
    There's a bit of irony in your "everything they collect is opt-in already".  We're discussing targeted advertising and contrary to your proclamation, you are by default subject to targeted ads through Apple's Personalized Ads.  You have to opt-out of Personalized Ads to avoid targeted advertising.   Oh, separately you also have to opt-out of location based targeted ads. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202074 ;

    There are also other areas where you have to opt-out but they aren't germane to the discussion.  Suffice it to say, everything they collect is not opt-in.
    80s_Apple_Guymuthuk_vanalingamcropr
  • Reply 11 of 24
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,488member
    gc_uk said:
    rcfa said:
    Apple couldn’t care less: everything they collect is opt-in already,
    In the EU every citizen has a right to data privacy. Companies must be clear about what information they collect and why, citizens can request the data held on them and have it corrected if required.
    rcfa said:
    and they don’t make their money tracking people…
    iAds.

    Both iOS and macOS have an "Apple Advertising" section under "Privacy" preferences...

    Apple Delivered Advertising
    The Apple advertising platform does not track you. It is designed to protect your privacy and does not follow you across apps and websites owned by other companies. You have control over how Apple uses your information.

    Ad targeting information is used by Apple to personalize your ad experience.

    There's an option to turn on Personalized Ads

    There's also links for more detailed information regarding Apple's privacy policy.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 24
    Ok, done. Bye. 

    Now these silly EU people can move on to forage for the next US tech company...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 24

    gc_uk said:
    rcfa said:
    Apple couldn’t care less: everything they collect is opt-in already,
    In the EU every citizen has a right to data privacy. Companies must be clear about what information they collect and why, citizens can request the data held on them and have it corrected if required.
    rcfa said:
    and they don’t make their money tracking people…
    iAds.
    Very few tech companies - anywhere in the world, including the EU - care about and deliver on privacy as well as Apple does. 

    iAds are trivial for Apple. 
    bshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 24
    borpsborps Posts: 28member
    Ok, done. Bye. 

    Now these silly EU people can move on to forage for the next US tech company...
    Yeah I thought the same. Well AFAIK Apple already do apply the same standards. 

    Hey EU, thanks for stating the obvious that isn’t even an issue. Jeez, EUseless. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 24
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,098member
    One official makes a benign comment in response to a question in an interview and it's a "demand"?

    Piss poor reporting.
    muthuk_vanalingamsphericchadbag
  • Reply 16 of 24
    mjtomlin said:
    gc_uk said:
    rcfa said:
    Apple couldn’t care less: everything they collect is opt-in already,
    In the EU every citizen has a right to data privacy. Companies must be clear about what information they collect and why, citizens can request the data held on them and have it corrected if required.
    rcfa said:
    and they don’t make their money tracking people…
    iAds.

    Both iOS and macOS have an "Apple Advertising" section under "Privacy" preferences...

    Apple Delivered Advertising
    The Apple advertising platform does not track you. It is designed to protect your privacy and does not follow you across apps and websites owned by other companies. You have control over how Apple uses your information.

    Ad targeting information is used by Apple to personalize your ad experience.

    There's an option to turn on Personalized Ads

    There's also links for more detailed information regarding Apple's privacy policy.
    There's an option to turn off Personalized Ads.  As I noted above, Personalized Ads are turn on by default and you have to opt-out.  You also have to opt-out of location based ad tracking, separate from Personalized Ads.

    Apple: If you don't want to receive personalized ads, you can choose to turn off the Personalized Ads setting on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and Mac. This may not decrease the number of ads you receive, but the ads may be less relevant to you. You can also turn off location-based ads on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and Mac.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 24
    I remember when the EU wasn’t happy about company computers buying digital equipment because they were worried it would lead to a lack of competition. Anyone remember what’s next ? Compared bought digital, then ho bought company, then he slip into two companies. Oh and many others were bought as well
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 24
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,107member
    Ok, done. Bye. 

    Now these silly EU people can move on to forage for the next US tech company…
    You're a fool if you believe that they don't apply anti-trust criteria to a huge slew of primarily European companies and numerous other American and Asian companies as well. 

    The records are open — you're seeing only Apple- and Google-related stuff because that's your news bubble. 
    muthuk_vanalingamavon b7
  • Reply 19 of 24
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,107member

    sgordon said:
    I remember when the EU wasn’t happy about company computers buying digital equipment because they were worried it would lead to a lack of competition. Anyone remember what’s next ? Compared bought digital, then ho bought company, then he slip into two companies. Oh and many others were bought as well
    I have no idea what you are referring to, and I'm having trouble understanding the scenario you are describing. 
    CloudTalkinroundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 24
    mobird said:
    Apple should be the "gold" standard in displaying the Nutritionals on their own apps on their own app store.
    Don't be hypocritical and don't give them reason to question your own actions or lack of them regarding rules and app store agreements.
    You must not realize that Apple already has Nutritionals on their own apps, in the app stores.  They are already doing what the require others to do.

    This article is about the opt-in of tracking.  If Apple apps do tracking, I'm confident Apple will require opt-in by the user, when this is turned on.

    Here's a screenshot of the "label" for iMove from the Mac app store:
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.