Google-backed groups criticize Apple's new warnings on user tracking

By Stephen Nellis and Paresh Dave

A group of European digital advertising associations has criticized Apple Inc's plans to require apps to seek additional permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites.

Apple last week disclosed features in its forthcoming operating system for iPhones and iPads that will require apps to show a pop-up screen before they enable a form of tracking commonly needed to show personalized ads.

Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google, faulted Apple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user consent under European privacy rules. Apps will now need to ask for permission twice, increasing the risk users will refuse, the associations argued.

Facebook and Google are the largest among thousands of companies that track online consumers to pick up on their habits and interests and serve them relevant ads.

Apple said the new feature was aimed at giving users greater transparency over how their information is being used. In training sessions at a developer conference last week, Apple showed that developers can present any number of additional screens beforehand to explain why permission is needed before triggering its pop-up.

The pop-up says an app "would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies" and gives the app developer several lines below the main text to explain why the permission is sought. It is not required until an app seeks access to a numeric identifier that can be used for tracking, and apps only need to secure permission once.

The group of European marketing firms said the pop-up warning and the limited ability to customize it still carries "a high risk of user refusal."

Apple engineers also said last week the company will bolster a free Apple-made tool that uses anonymous, aggregated data to measure whether advertising campaigns are working and that will not trigger the pop-up.

"Because it's engineered to not track users, there's no need to request permission to track," Brandon Van Ryswyk, an Apple privacy engineer, said in a video session explaining the measurement tool to developers.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

The masses NEED these thieving conglomerates to keep this simple, opt in or out of tracking, data stealing, I mean sharing :( …….

I imagine the vast majority DONT want to be tracked etc, & IF we say yes then WE should be PAID for our data!!!! How about that google!!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"a high risk of user refusal."

Is that a risk or a benefit?

The article below suggests that tracking for targeted advertising brings benefits only to marketing companies, and not to companies selling the advertised products or the sites displaying them. For example, on a news article about Hawaii, which is better to show - ads for holidays in Hawaii (contextual targeting) or ads about washing machines because the user searched for washing machines three weeks ago (tracking based targeting)?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'A high risk of user refusal'? That's hilarious, and so self-centred of those marketing groups that whine about an option for consumers that is long overdue.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of all the backward things Apple have done recently, this, for once is productive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites