Apple won a first victory in France on its litigation offer to implement more stringent privacy changes in iOS 14. The French competition regulator today rejected a demand from lobby groups for the online advertising industry to block Apple’s anti-tracking controls. First announced last June, Apple has since delayed plans to impose stricter data collection transparency rules on developers. The updates would essentially require apps to ask a user for permission to access the ad tracking ID on iOS 14.
A referral requesting the cessation of measures for antitrust reasons was submitted to French competition surveillance in October. But the regulator sided with Apple in its preliminary decision. The Competition Authority said it did not view the new feature as an abusive practice by a dominant firm, which effectively quashed the complainant’s objections.
The watchdog – who also consulted the French data protection regulator on the case – said he still plans to continue a thorough investigation into the updates to see if they constitute a form of self-help. Apple preference. It will now examine whether Apple could apply more restrictive confidentiality rules to third parties than those it reserves for itself.
“We cannot intervene simply because there could be a negative impact for companies in the ecosystem,” said Isabelle de Silva, head of the competition authority in France. The Wall Street Journal. “At this point, we have not found any glaring examples of discrimination.”
The move is a blow to companies in the wider tech industry looking to shut down Apple’s plans due to their perceived negative impact on digital ad revenue. Europe already has some of the strictest privacy laws around the world and it looks like its regulators aren’t in the mood to abandon these data tracking controls for citizens.
Facebook, among the most vocal opponents of privacy updates, attacked Apple’s policy by newspaper ads in the USA. He is also preparing a antitrust action against the iPhone maker fearing the changes would give it an unfair advantage in ads displayed on the iOS App Store and elsewhere.