Privacy group files complaints over Apple tracking tool

A group led by activist Max Schrems filed complaints against Apple on Monday. It alleged that the company’s tracking tool allows iPhones to store user data without consent.

Reuters reported that the group consisted of Max Schrems along with data protection authorities of Germany and Spain. Their issue is that Apple’s tracking tool allows iPhones to store users’ data without their consent. And that it has breached European law.

This is the first instance of a major action against the biggest US tech firm in Europe.

Apple and the issue of privacy with a “code”

Nyob, a digital rights group, first brought up the latest complaints. It initially witnessed that the California tech giant’s new tracking code was storing the user data without consent.

The said code is automatically generated upon the setup of every iPhone. An identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is the name of it, technically. And it allows Apple and third parties to track a user’s online behavior and usage pattern. For example, Facebook can send targeted ads through this tracking code to the users on iPhones.

Stefano Rossetti, the Nyob lawyer, mentioned the serious issue and the violation of European laws on privacy.

“Apple places codes that are comparable to a cookie in its phones without any consent by the user. This is a clear breach of European Union privacy laws.”

The lawyer clearly stated that a user’s consent is important before installing such a tool as per the law.

As a matter of fact, Apple accounts for one in every four smartphones sold in the European region, reported Counterpoint Research.

Concerns over user data across the world

This new case is shocking since Apple always focuses heavily on data protection and user privacy. The company launched iOS 14 this year, introducing new features on safety and protection of privacy. Time and again, the tech giant has asserted its efforts of promoting a great user experience.

However, this promise seems to be getting faded right now, at least after the revelation of the case in Europe.

It’s not expected from the most valuable tech company in the world. Because the one thing that other rival firms don’t stress over a lot is “data privacy.” And iOS device users rely on Apple’s word for what it says on their protection of what they do on their devices. The promotional ads often highlighted that what you do on your iPhone stays on that only.


Image courtesy of PJenviri/Shutterstock

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