Apple has come under pressure to tighten the news privacy rules ahead of Monday’s annual developers ’conference, experts warned that thousands of apps would continue to collect user data after they stopped monitoring.
The new rules, which were introduced as part of the iPhone 14.5 software update in April, require apps to target users with advertising to allow them to continue their behavior.
However, many third parties continue to use solution methods to identify unsupported users, and critics believe that confusion has arisen over what Apple’s new policies support.
The result is that the amount of data received among many iPhone users may remain unchanged even after they choose not to track it, says marketing strategy consultant Eric Seufert.
“Anyone who stops tracking right now is basically having the same level of data as before,” Seufert said. “Apple hasn’t stopped conducting what they call so reprehensible, so they’re kind of complicit in what’s going on.”
Sean O’Brien, founder of Yale Privacy Lab, says Apple is being “very nonsensical” in its marketing privacy efforts without properly protecting the user.
In an email seen by the Financial Times, a vendor told customers that it had managed to continue collecting data about more than 95 percent of its iOS users, gathering device and network information, such as IP addresses, to find out who a user is. a tactic known as “fingerprinting”.
Apple has banned fingerprinting, telling developers that “they will not be able to identify data from a device in a single way,” but experts say the policy is not in place.
In addition, some adtech groups, dozens of developers, believe that more vague “probabilistic” methods of identification are acceptable because they rely on temporary unified data to create a unique or permanent device ID.
“The problem arises when you start pairing with that individual user based on this individual data point on the device, and you try to find the connection directly,” said Paul Mueller, CEO of Adapt, who has thousands of helpful “measurement partners.” they campaign. “But if you group users according to behavior and agree with those groups, we think that’s within the spirit of these rules.”
Critics say Apple’s privacy boost could backfire if it continues to support such practices. “It’s clear that iOS14 was a marketing promotion rather than a privacy initiative, unfortunately,” said Alex Austin Branch, CEO of mobile marketing platform.
Apple said in a statement: “We absolutely believe that users should be asked for permission before they can be tracked. Applications that exclude the user’s option will be rejected.”
He wanted to talk about whether he makes a distinction between fingerprints and “probability pairings”.
Seufert predicts that Apple will provide clarity soon – coinciding with the annual developer conference on Monday – which could lead to the exclusion of apps this month in the app review process.
If Apple waits much longer, there is a risk that it will fall under legal fire as a result of the difference between reality and its marketing rhetoric, which suggests that the ability of third parties to track users is completely blocked when users are asked to stop, O’Brien said.
He made a comparison with Google, which had several lawsuits after it was discovered in 2018 that it was tracking user locations, after expressly saying it wasn’t.
“Apple can find a hard way, as Google did in the past, if the company is suing customers for misleading customers in terms of privacy,” he said. “As it was found that Google’s location history was never turned off in 2018. I think we’ll see that Apple still allows apps to enter the windows of consumers’ lives.”