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Apple Refuses To Concede To Facebook, Other Advertisers Over Tracking Users Without Consent

Apple Refuses To Concede To Facebook, Other Advertisers Over Tracking Users Without Consent

Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) Senior Vice President Craig Federighi has hit out at the adtech industry ahead of the introduction of changes to iOS that would allow users to decline app tracking.

What Happened: Federighi referred to online tracking as privacy’s “biggest challenge” in a speech to European lawmakers and privacy regulators on Tuesday, TechCrunch reported.

The executive claimed that Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature was at “the front line of user privacy.”

Addressing the European Data Protection & Privacy Conference, Federighi said that “Never before has the right to privacy — the right to keep personal data under your own control — been under assault like it is today.”

The SVP said the mass centralization of data puts privacy “at risk.” He took an aim at those opposing Apple by referring to them as “data-industrial complex”  — a term previously used by CEO Tim Cook in 2018, according to TechCrunch.

“Shadowy actors work to infiltrate the most intimate parts of your life and exploit whatever they can find — whether to sell you something, to radicalize your views, or worse,” claimed Federighi.

Why It Matters: Apple’s ATT has placed the company in a face-off against detractors such as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB), which claims the move could plummet its audience network revenue by 50%.

ATT would require app makers to get permission for displaying targeted advertisements based on data collected from apps and websites owned by third parties and sharing device location data with a data broker.

Beginning in 2021, Apple would remove apps from its marketplace that track users without their permission.

The iPhone maker holds sway over 25% of the smartphone market in the world, according to StatCounter, and has even a higher share of the market in the United States.

There is no word from Apple on when ATT would come into effect. Earlier in September, the tech giant had delayed the rolling out of the feature after facing criticism from Facebook.

Four french online advertising lobbies have filed an antitrust complaint against Apple, alleging its privacy features do not comply with EU privacy rules, Reuters reported.

The French associations claim Apple is abusing its market power to "distort competition." 

Price Action: Apple shares closed nearly 0.5% higher at $124.38 on Tuesday.


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