According to a recent report, Apple is being criticized by a group of European digital advertising associations over its ‘Ask Permission’ feature in iOS 14. The digital advertisers are unhappy with the company’s double permission requests for tracking by an app or a website in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 and argue that Apple is not complying with the ad industry’s consent requirement in European privacy rules.
The new privacy ‘Ask Permission’ feature by Cupertino HQ released at the WWDC 2020 event, in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 developer beta, requires that apps and websites seek user consent to track their digital activities via permission pop-up.
Therefore, 16 European marketing associations are arguing that Apple is putting their ‘targeted’ advertising system at risk by empowering the users to either allow or decline tracking twice which according to them increases the possibility of the tracking permission being declined. Allegedly, these groups are backed by Google and Facebook.
Ask Permission Feature
Currently, the iPhone manufacturer is a champion of user data protection not only on its own devices and services, but on other apps offered via App Store, and websites accessed via Safari. Tech companies like Google and Facebook store, listen on, and track user habits to show personalized advertisements. Mostly, users are unaware of the intrusive apps which track their information.
Thus, Apple introduced ‘Ask permission’ as part of iOS 14’s new privacy features to deliver more transparency and give users more control by deciding if they should allow an app or website to track their information or not.
In addition, iOS 14 ‘Ask Permission’ also disables IDFA ( Identifier for Advertiser) from tracking users with out their knowledge.
We will know in time how Apple will respond to the Google-backed groups worried about the future of their advertising system. For now, we know that Apple is providing all safeguards to protect user data and does not compromise privacy for monetary gains. Further more, the company is also working on exploring the usefulness of personalized ads.
A privacy engineer at Apple, Brandon Van Ryswyk told developers in a video session at WWDC 2020 that the company wants to measure the effectiveness of targeted ads via its own designed free tool to collect aggregated data which would not be personally identifiable. He further explained that
“It’s engineered to not track users, there’s no need to request permission to track”.