Tech group Apple may be charged again in France. This time it is about its advertising tool used to monetize some of its apps. Apple would not ask users for permission to receive personalized advertisements.
A French lobby group representing start-ups and venture capitalists has filed a complaint with the French regulator CNIL on Tuesday. Bloomberg news agency has seen the charges. The objection focuses on the Personalized Advertising feature, which shows ads in the App Store, Apple News and the Stocks app, based on user data.
The complaint against Apple comes as the tech company prepares a software update for iPhones and iPads. This update should ensure that the amount of data collected from third-party ad systems, such as Facebook, is limited. Contrary to that feature, Apple’s personalized advertising system is enabled by default.
According to the complainants, France Digitale, “insufficiently informed about the use and processing of their personal data”. According to the lobby group, Apple has too much power in its hands because it can determine who is a “partner” and who is a “third party” and that this can change over time without Apple notifying the user. According to Apple, the charges are “clearly false”.
Previously, a group of French advertisers already filed a complaint with the competition authority in France. They want to prevent Apple from making changes to the way the company collects data from iPhone users. In doing so, Apple would act in violation of European rules.
Privacy activist Max Schrems also protested Apple earlier. With his lobby group Noyb, he filed complaints with the German and Spanish privacy watchdogs. This is because, in its view, Apple has unlawfully installed a service on its devices and apps with which the tech company can track users’ behaviour.