Apple awaits iOS 14 tracking decision in France

Ios 14 Maps App Clip Panera
Ios 14 Maps App Clip Panera (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple may be forced to freeze changes to iOS 14 that will make user tracking through IDFA an opt-in feature.
  • It all hangs on a preliminary judgment from French competition authorities expected tomorrow.

Apple is awaiting a preliminary decision from French competition authorities regarding its iOS 14 privacy changes that could see the move halted in the country.

From Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. is set to be handed a preliminary decision from France's antitrust authority after proposed changes to the way it collects iPhone users' data sparked outrage among online advertisers. Wednesday's announcement could include an order for Apple to enter into talks with ad firms or even a demand for the U.S. tech giant to temporarily freeze its plans, according to people familiar with the case, who asked not to be named because the process isn't public.

The report says a probe into the measures has not concluded and that Apple will not receive a fine or any final ruling tomorrow. As the report notes, advertising groups in the country have asked French antitrust authorities to "call Apple into talks with the industry" regarding planned changes to iOS 14 that will mean users have to opt-in if they want to be tracked using an IDFA identifier used to target personalized ads by companies like Facebook. Apple is also under fire in France from the CNIL privacy group, over claims the new iOS 14 changes don't comply with EU privacy requirements. From that report:

France Digitale claims that these do not extend to Apple's own software and services:On the one hand, France Digitale argues, iPhone owners are asked whether they're ready to allow installed mobile apps to gather a key identifier used to define campaign ads and send targeted ads.On the other hand, Apple's default settings allow the U.S. firm to carry its own targeted ad campaigns without clearly asking iPhone users for their prior consent, France Digitale says.

Apple slammed those claims as "patently false" and "a poor attempt by those who track users to distract from their own actions and mislead regulators and policymakers."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9