The French Competition Authority officially launches its investigation of Apple’s ad practices

The French Competition Authority, France’s antitrust agency has launched its investigation into Apple’s use of user data in advertising.

The tech giant is accused of abusing its dominant position by “implementing discriminatory, non-objective and non-transparent conditions for the exploitation of user data for advertising purposes.” The French Competitive Authority has previously say it has found evidence of illegal anticompetitive behavior in its initial review of the complaints it received.

A 2020 complaint argues that Apple’s app tracking changes didn’t adequately adhere to European Union privacy rules and that Apple failed to hold itself to the same ad targeting standards that it forced on its competitors because it targeted iOS users with ads from app tracking data. The complaint was filed jointly by four French advertising trade groups —IAB France, Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), SRI and UDECAM.

All this pretty much ties into Apple’s introduction of App Tracking Transparency. Apple introduced the App Tracking Transparency Framework for third-party apps with its updates iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5 in April 2021. ATT allows you to choose whether an app can track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites for the purposes of advertising or sharing with data brokers. Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, apps must ask for permission before tracking your activity across other companies’ apps and websites. 

Tracking occurs when information that identifies you or your device collected from an app is linked with information that identifies you or your device collected on apps, websites and other locations owned by third parties for the purposes of targeted advertising or advertising measurement, or when the information collected is shared with data brokers.

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