Tim CookSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple has been hit with another EU antitrust complaint.
  • Startup lobby France Digitale says new iOS 14 privacy measures apply to third parties but not Apple's own apps.
  • Apple has slammed the claims as false.

Apple has been hit with yet another EU antitrust complaint, this time over iOS 14 privacy measures.

From Reuters

France Digitale will file a complaint against iPhone maker Apple with data privacy watchdog CNIL on Tuesday over alleged breaches of European Union rules, France's leading startup lobby said in a statement.

In the seven-page complaint seen by Reuters, the lobby, which represents the bulk of France's digital entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, alleges Apple's latest operating software, iOS 14, does not comply with EU privacy requirements.

New iOS 14 changes this year state that apps must ask users whether they would like to be tracked by apps using an IDFA identifier, used to target personalized ads at users.

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.

In a strong statement of rebuttal, Apple said the allegations in the complaint were "patently false", and were "a poor attempt by those who track users to distract from their own actions and mislead regulators and policymakers."

Apple is already under plenty of antitrust scrutiny in the EU, notably after a complaint was lodged by Spotify against the company. One of the best music streaming apps for iPhone, Spotify claims several aspects of Apple's business model is unfair, including the 30% charge it pays on sales made through the App Store.