Last month, a coalition of eight civil and human rights groups wrote an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook about the company’s decision to delay the launch of the new iOS 14 application tracking transparency feature.
Apple has already responded to this letter by doubling its privacy practices and proposing more colors for the solution to slow down the application tracking transparency feature.
In a letter to the digital rights ranking organization, Jane Horvath of Apple, senior director of privacy, reiterated that the company believes that “privacy is a fundamental human right.” Horvat explains that Apple has slowed down the application transparency tracking (ATT) feature in an attempt to give developers more time to prepare for change.
The letter also confirms that the application tracking transparency feature, which is designed to allow users to disable cross-tracking between different applications, is still coming next year. Once effective, developers will also need to request permission before tracking a user on apps or websites.
“We postponed the launch of ATT until early next year to give developers the time they indicated they needed to properly update their data systems and practices, but we remain fully committed to ATT and our expansive approach. to privacy protection. We developed ATT for one reason only: because we share your concerns about tracking users without their consent and grouping and reselling data from ad networks and data brokers. “
Horvath emphasizes that application tracking transparency features do not hinder advertising, but rather promote advertising that respects privacy:
“Advertising that respects privacy is not only possible, it was the standard until the expansion of the Internet. Some companies that would prefer ATT never to be applied said that this policy clearly burdens small businesses by limiting advertising opportunities, but in fact the current data arms race is an advantage mainly for large businesses with large data sets. Confidentiality-focused ad networks were the universal standard in advertising before the practice of seamless data collection began in the last decade or so. We hope that the growing demands of users for privacy and security, as well as changes such as ATT, will make these privacy advertising standards stable again. “
In addition, Horvat has sharply criticized Facebook, saying the social network has “clearly stated”
“Unlike them, Facebook and others have a completely different approach to targeting. Not only do they allow users to be grouped into smaller segments, they use detailed online browsing data to target ads. Facebook executives have made it clear that they intend to collect as much data as possible on both first- and third-party products in order to develop and generate revenue from detailed profiles of their users, and this neglect of user privacy continues to expand, to include more of their products. “
On the other hand, Facebook criticized the application tracking transparency feature and said it could lead to a 40% drop in ad revenue. Facebook has reportedly met with advertising partners to discuss the impact that the change will have on advertising when users have the ability to easily opt out of tracking across different platforms.
Today, Apple reiterates that advertising that protects consumer privacy is possible. For example, Apple gives users the ability to disable ad customization based on first-party data in the Settings app. For users with personalized ads enabled, Apple groups users with similar characteristics, which ensures that the campaign cannot identify a user.
Once available in 2021, the application tracking transparency feature will be available by opening the Settings app, then searching the Privacy menu and searching the Tracking tab. Apple also says that new “nutrition labels” for application privacy will be required in the App Store from December 8.
You can read the full letter below.
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