Google-backed groups criticize new Apple user tracking warnings

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SAN FRANCISCO: A group of European digital advertising associations on Friday (July 3rd) criticized Apple’s plans to demand that applications seek additional authorization from users before following them on other applications and websites.

Last week, Apple unveiled features of its future operating system for iPhones and iPads that will require apps to display a pop-up screen before allowing a form of tracking commonly needed to serve personalized ads.

Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are supported by Facebook and Google, have criticized Apple for not joining an advertising industry system to seek user consent under European privacy rules. Applications will now have to request authorization twice, which will increase the risk that users will refuse, the associations said.

Facebook and Google are the largest of thousands of businesses that track online consumers to find out about their habits and interests and show them relevant ads.

Apple said the new feature was intended to give users more transparency about how their information is used. During training sessions at a developer conference last week, Apple has shown that developers can present an unlimited number of additional screens in advance to explain why authorization is required before launching its pop-up window.

FILE PHOTO: Facebook is one of thousands of businesses that track consumers online to find out about their habits and interests and show them relevant ads. (Photo: AP Photo / Jenny Kane)

The pop-up indicates that an application “would like to have permission to follow you among applications and websites owned by other companies” and gives the application developer several lines under the main text to explain why the authorization is requested. There is no need until an app tries to access a digital ID that can be used for tracking, and apps only need to get authorization once.

The group of European marketing companies said that the pop-up warning and the limited ability to personalize it still carry “a high risk of user rejection”.

Apple engineers also said last week that the company would reinforce a free Apple-designed tool that uses anonymous aggregated data to measure whether ad campaigns are working and which won’t pop up.

“Because it is designed not to track users, there is no need to request permission to follow,” said Brandon Van Ryswyk, an Apple privacy engineer, during a video session. explaining the measurement tool to developers.

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