French organization sues Apple for advertising in iOS 14

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The French organization France Digitale is suing Apple for alleged data collection in iOS 14. According to the organization that supports start-ups, data collection by Apple is turned on by default in iOS 14, something that the manufacturer can use for advertisements.

The option for personalized advertising is turned on by default after installing iOS 14, France Digitale claims, according to Sifted and Le Monde. Apple uses that to promote apps in the App Store, Apple News and the Stocks app, for example. For this, Apple uses device data, location data, searches in the App Store and the articles read in Apple News.

The indictment also states that Apple does not clarify how the information is sent and which third parties can obtain the data. Apple claims in the information that can be retrieved via the settings that the data does not go to third-party companies.

According to Apple, the ads are personalized, but it collects the data to divide people into groups and provide those groups with the same ads. These groups consist of at least 5,000 people.

Apple denies the allegation in the lawsuit. “The allegations will be seen for what they are: a bad attempt by companies that track users to distract from their own actions and mislead regulators,” the company said.

Apple points out that there is an opt-out for personalized advertising. According to France Digitale, this is a violation of the European privacy law AVG, which according to the organization would prescribe that personalized advertising should be opt-in.

France Digitale, an organization that supports start-ups, has asked the French privacy regulator CNIL to look into this practice. Apple claims to have made great strides in iOS 14 around ads and privacy; for example, there are now privacy labels for Apps and apps must start asking to track users from this spring.

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