Apple Criticized Over New User Tracking For Apps


Apple has been called out by Google-backed groups over its new user tracking operating system for apps. As Reuters has reported the plan proposes to seek extra permissions from users before tracking them across websites and apps.

This has caused quite the stir from Google-backed advertising groups as this new plan would affect them greatly.

iPhone and iPad apps would have to show a pop-up screen before enabling the sort of tracking used by these advertisers. iOS 14 though will actually include a number of features Android has had for over a decade.


Advertisers angry at apple apps user tracking plan

Sixteen marketing associates, which include groups backed by Facebook and Google have criticized the new plan. They fault Apple with not conforming to an ad-industry system. This system is all to do with seeking user consent under European privacy rules.

Facebook is no stranger to advertising issues but this time it is the one speaking up on behalf of the advertising groups. Recently the company has had to speak out to defend itself as many companies have boycotted the company for the month of July.

This new system will see users be asked for consent twice. Naturally, this will increase the likelihood users will refuse at some stage. Thus something that the advertising groups are unsurprisingly unhappy with.


New plan makes personalized adds more difficult

These types of advertising groups often work on personalized adverts. This means they rely on user consent to track them across websites and apps. In turn, this translates into mapping of user desires and interests which these groups can use.

Apple's new plan makes this whole system much more difficult to operate. By increasing the likelihood that a user will decline to consent to these permissions these advertisers lose a lot of their business and power.

As a result, many of these groups, some of which as mentioned backed by Google and Facebook, have hit back at Apple.


Apple claims the new feature is more about giving great transparency to users. This is to help users understand why companies are tracking their data. For example, a new popup would say the app “would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies”.

The group of European marketing firms has suggested that the pop-up warning would carry “a high risk of user refusal”. However, Apple engineers have said they will use a new tool to measure anonymous aggregated data to measure advertising campaigns. This could then potentially not trigger the pop-up if they are working.

This is an important period of time for advertisers and technology companies. More and more focus is being placed on privacy and online safety. However, a balance needs to be struck between these industries and how this developed over the coming months could shape the future of the sector.