Apple has been fined $11 million by the Italian Antitrust Authority, AGCM, after investigations discovered that the company was collecting user data for commercial purposes through its various services and devices. Even though Apple does not share this data with any third-party services for marketing purposes, the company used it to increase the sale of its own products as well as third-party apps and content offered through the App Store, iTunes Store, and Apple Books.
Apple faces yet another fine in Italy, this time for $10 million
As per a translated copy of the press release on the AGCM website, Apple has been found guilty of not explicitly notifying users regarding its data collection and usage practice during the creation of an Apple ID as well as during the access of various digital storefronts like the App Store.
Apple, both in the phase of creating the Apple ID and on the occasion of accessing the Apple Stores (App Store, iTunes Store and Apple Books), does not immediately and explicitly provide the user with any indication on the collection and use of your data for commercial purposes, emphasizing only that data collection is necessary to improve the consumer experience and use of services.
The report also claims that Apple does not give customers proper choices regarding the usage of their data by the company for commercial purposes. Even though Apple has very clear screens, especially in iOS, iPadOS, and macOS regarding data privacy, it seems that they are not sufficient as per this ruling.
In the case of Apple, on the other hand, the promotional activity is based on a method of acquiring consent to the use of user data for commercial purposes without providing the consumer with the possibility of a prior and express choice on sharing their data. This acquisition architecture, prepared by Apple, does not make it possible to exercise one’s will on the use of one’s data for commercial purposes. Therefore, the consumer is conditioned in the choice of consumption and undergoes the transfer of personal information, which Apple may dispose of for its own promotional purposes carried out in different ways.
It is highly likely that Apple will appeal this fine, however, there has not been any update yet from the company.
Along with Apple, Google is also facing a similar fine by the Italian watchdog, revolving around misuse of user data.
This is not the only fine that Apple is facing in Italy. The company was recently fined €10 million in Italy for iPhone water resistance claims, with the Italian watchdog claiming that the company was not clear as to under which conditions the iPhone’s water resistance works, as well as not providing warranty coverage for liquid damage. A few days ago, Apple and Amazon were fined $225 million by Italian regulators over the sale of Apple and Beats products by only selected resellers on Amazon.it, which goes against the rules in the EU.