Let’s add Proctor and Gamble to the list of U.S. companies that couldn’t give a crap less about protecting their customers’ privacy. The company is one of the companies that worked with the China Advertising Association to test a new data collection tool designed to get around Apple’s App Tracking Transparency rules.
The Wall Street Journal reports the soap and toilet paper maker was among the companies that have been testing China Advertising Agency new method of tracking users called CAID, which is designed to replace access to the IDFA or advertising identifier of an iPhone or iPad, which starting with iOS 14.5 is not allowed without the express consent of a device user.
In addition to Proctor and Gamble, CAID has also been in testing in China with major companies like Baidu, ByteDance (TikTok), and Tencent. Other U.S. companies, including Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Nielsen are also working with the China Advertising Agency on CAID.
“The App Store terms and guidelines apply equally to all developers around the world, including Apple,” an Apple spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. “We believe strongly that users should be asked for their permission before being tracked. Apps that are found to disregard the user’s choice will be rejected.”
As you might imagine, a worldwide corporation such as Proctor and Gamble has a strong interest in tracking its users. P&G owns numerous major brands, including Gillette, Charmin, Pampers, Tide, Bounty, Pantene, Crest, Febreeze, and many others.
In a statement, P&G told The Wall Street Journal that it is providing input to the China Advertising Agency in an effort to “deliver useful content consumers want in a way that prioritizes data privacy, transparency, and consent.”
The Wall Street Journal says P&G has built a database of 1.5 million customers worldwide using a combination of anonymous consumer IDs and personal information that customers share voluntarily. The company mostly uses this database in China, where it spends 80% of its digital ad dollars buying targeted ads.