What you need to know
- France is to investigate changes made to tracking and privacy in iOS 14.
- They are seeking to determine whether Apple applies the rules less stringently to its own apps.
- Regulators did not call for any interim measures, however, and have said the changes themselves are not unfair.
Update, June 16 (9:40 pm ET): Apple has released a statement celebrating the FCA's decision to keep privacy features in iOS 14
Apple has dodged any interim measures from French antitrust authorities but will face an investigation into whether changes made to privacy and tracking in iOS 14 were applied fairly.
The probe was announced at a press conference in Paris, Wednesday, by antitrust chief Isabelle de Silva, and reported by Bloomberg:
French authorities have received complaints against Apple over changes that will make tracking in iOS 14 an opt-in prompt required by all apps, they had called for interim measures to stop Apple from trying to make the change, which will debut publicly with the release of iOS 14.5. The authorities reportedly stated that Apple's new rules did not appear to be intrinsically unfair, but that they wanted to examine how Apple applied them, and whether they were applied consistently, or less stringently to Apple's own apps.
Apple said it was "grateful" for the authority's recognitions that the changes were "in the best interest of French iOS users", and that it looked forward to further engagement with regulators on the matter.
Separately, Apple faces a similar accusation posed by startup lobby France Digitale, which has also filed a complaint against Apple with the privacy watchdog CNIL, claiming the measures breach EU privacy rules. From that report:
Apple says the claims are "patently false" and "a poor attempt by those who track users to distract from their own actions and mislead regulators and policymakers."
Update, June 15 (11:15 pm ET) — Apple has released a statement celebrating the FCA's decision to keep privacy features in iOS 14
Apple has released a statement saying that the company was grateful that the French Competition Authority did not stop App Tracking Transparency in the interim as the investigation is ongoing.
Big, good win on ATT not just/even for Apple but for user consent, choice, and privacy!
Here's the news and Apple's statement:https://t.co/Ghgr74HawK pic.twitter.com/dphHNP6yk1Big, good win on ATT not just/even for Apple but for user consent, choice, and privacy!
Here's the news and Apple's statement:https://t.co/Ghgr74HawK pic.twitter.com/dphHNP6yk1— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) March 17, 2021March 17, 2021
Below is the full statement:
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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