Apple has been fined $8.5 million in France over how personalized advertising works on the iPhone. France’s CNIL data protection agency (National Commission on Informatics and Liberty) issued the €8 million penalty against Apple as the result of an investigation.
“Following a complaint about the processing of personalization of advertising ads broadcast on the App Store, the CNIL carried out several checks in 2021 and 2022 to verify compliance with the applicable regulations,” writes the CNIL.
“The CNIL services have found that under the old version 14.6 of the iPhone operating system, when a user went to the App Store, identifiers for several purposes, including purposes of customizing advertising ads displayed on the App Store, were by default automatically read on the terminal without collecting consent.”
France’s data protection agency explains that the large penalty is based on “processing limited to the App Store, by the number of people concerned in France and the profits that the company derives from advertising revenues indirectly generated from the data collected by these identifiers and by the fact that the company has since become compliant.”
Apple issued a statement (via FT’s Patrick McGee) responding to the CNIL decision today:
We are disappointed with this decision given the CNIL has previously recognized that how we serve search ads in the App Store prioritizes user privacy, and we will appeal.
Apple Search Ads goes further than any other digital advertising platform we are aware of by providing users with a clear choice as to whether or not they would like personalized ads.
Additionally, Apple Search Ads never tracks users across 3rd party apps and websites, and only uses first-party data to personalize ads. We believe privacy is a fundamental human right and a user should always get to decide whether to share their data and with whom.
French data regulators launched the probe into Apple and how it used customer data to serve App Store ads back in March 2021.
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