Facebook and Google-backed advertisers in Europe are criticizing Apple for requiring iOS 14 apps to seek additional permission from users before dropping a cookie to their device that would track them across other apps and websites.
Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook and Alphabet’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.
Apple last week unveiled iOS 14, which includes several new privacy features, which includes new app tracking controls, along with more ad transparency.
Developers are now required to display a pop-up to request user consent before tracking them. The pop-up says the app “would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies.” Developers are then allowed several lines of text below the request to explain why permission is being sought.
Apps need only to be granted permission once. Users can then view which apps have been granted consent to track them in the Settings app on their iOS device. Users can change their preferences at any time.
The 16 associations are asserting that by including the feature in iOS 14, Apple is not adhering to established European rules for governing how the ad industry can or cannot track users.
Apple has said it will improve a free tool for developers that allows them to access anonymous data to determine how well their advertising campaigns are working. The tool doesn’t trigger the pop-up because it does not track individual users.