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Apple should pay €6m fine says French privacy watchdog advisor

Written by Thu 15 Dec 2022

A leading advisor to the French privacy watchdog, Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL), has called for Apple to face a €6 million fine for breaking privacy rules. While the recommendations of the rapporteur, Francois Pellegrini, are not binding, the opinion will be considered during the final decision-making process of CNLI.

The potential fine is related to the use of trackers for online ad campaigns by Apple, which have been deemed to have breached privacy rules. A complaint was filed by France Digitale, a lobby for French startups and venture capitalists, and Pellegrini led an investigation into the allegations.

The complaint alleged that Apple’s iOS 14 breached European union privacy laws because iPhone users were not directly asked for consent by Apple to carry out ad campaigns when selecting whether or not they wanted third-party apps to track them.

Added in iOS 14.5, App Tracking Transparency is set to off by default, automatically turning down tracking requests. But France Digitale say Apple still was able to share collected data with other firms without the consent of users.

During a recent hearing on these claims, Apple’s Head of Privacy, Gary Davis, disputed the findings of Pellegrini and argued Apple places user privacy at the centre of its operations.

Reuters reported that Davis said of the fine: “The absence of any seriousness to the breach … means that the amount of the fine should be decreased.”

Future operating systems released by Apple for its smartphones did make changes that allowed prior consent to be solicited from users. This is one of several privacy related issues that Apple has been contending in recent months, with a report discovering that analytics collected by Apple may be able to identify a user.

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Written by Thu 15 Dec 2022

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