Apple is fined 8 million euros by the French privacy regulator CNIL. The regulator found that the tech giant was using the identifiers of French iPhone users for advertising purposes in iOS 14.6 without permission.
The Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés imposes the fine following a complaint about ad personalization in the Apple App Store. The CNIL conducted several investigations into this in 2021 and 2022 to determine whether privacy legislation is being complied with. It showed that identifiers of users in iOS 14.6 were automatically read, including for the personalization of advertisements. According to the CNIL, such identifiers are not necessary for the provision of a service. Therefore, Apple must ask users for permission before they can be used for advertising purposes. That was not the case in iOS 14.6.
The privacy regulator also states that iPhone users must perform “a large number of actions” before they could disable this default setting. Users had to go to their phone’s settings; there they could find the setting in the Privacy menu under the “Apple advertising” section.
The CNIL then concludes that Apple violates Article 82 of the French data protection law. The regulator arrived at the amount of 8 million euros based on the number of users involved, the profit Apple made with the data via personalized advertisements and the fact that Apple has complied with the law since iOS 15. The fine exceeds the 6 million euros which was recommended by the top advisor of the regulator. An Apple spokesperson says to Politico be disappointed with the verdict and appeal.