Apple hit with $8.5 million fine in France for targeted App Store ads
Today, Apple became the second tech titan to be fined for tailored marketing. The National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) of France has fined Apple €8 million (approximately $8.5 million) over allegations that Apple automatically collected identifying data from App Store visitors using iOS 14.6 without their permission, allowing the company to target advertisements. According to authorities, the company profited from infractions of data protection rules.
The ad targeting could be turned off, but it was enabled by default and couldn’t be turned off without going through numerous menu levels, according to CNIL. According to reports, this made it hard for consumers to provide valid permission. Apple’s methods have now altered, and CNIL said that it performed “multiple” audits between 2021 and 2022 to ensure the business was following data standards. In March 2021, France initiated its probe.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment. According to 9to5Mac, Apple said in a statement to Financial Times’ Patrick McGee that it was “disappointed” with the verdict and intended to appeal. The iPhone manufacturer said that its Search Adverts system went “further” than any competitor in terms of allowing users a choice over targeted ads, and that it did not monitor users across third-party applications or websites.
Apple’s relationship with French authorities has been strained. In 2020, the country’s competition commission imposed a $1.2 billion punishment (now reduced to $364.6 million) for suspected antitrust violations in its distribution network. That same year, the business was fined $27.3 million for iPhone performance throttling. While the French government backed Apple’s iOS 14 anti-tracking safeguards in the face of business criticism, it’s clear that the brand is still being scrutinised.