Apple reveals new privacy feature for iOS 15

Just a few weeks away from launching its new operating system, Apple has just announced that it will allow users the option to activate Apple’s own personalized ads for their device. The company has introduced multiple privacy features in their new system that will help protect users’ data from Google and Facebook.

According to 9To5Mac, Apple would use Apple store purchases and other demographic data, to analyse preferences and display ads. Previously, this feature was enabled by Apple without prompt, compelling users to discover the feature on their own and figure out a way to disable it, deep into settings of the device. This has caused Anti-trust scrutiny where it seems the company does not respect user privacy enough, especially since Apple limited third-party ad networks to target individual user data but did not require first-party advertising to seek such permission of access. The tech company is already facing an antitrust complaint in France because users were “insufficiently informed about the use of processing of its personal data” regarding their personal data being given for advertising.

To combat these lawsuits, Apple has stepped up its game in privacy policy recently. Cybersecurity specialist at ESET, Jane Moore remarks that “Antitrust can be damaging, so Apple is trying to clear the air by enabling this feature offering choice to users. By any means, this is a huge decision and potentially financially damaging due to the revenue generated from Apple’s ad targeting.”

When opening the App Store on iOS 15 now, a user consent dialog will appear, along with additional informational links about “Personalised Recommendations” in the App Store settings page. The dialog explainer, will bring Apple in line with what third-party developers were limited to, with App Tracking Transparency. Regulations such as the GDR, have compelled companies like Apple to ensure transparency and data collection to show users ads that are opt-in.

 




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