In October, a coalition of eight civil and human rights organizations penned an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook regarding the company’s decision to delay the release of the new App Tracking Transparency feature in iOS 14.
“We, the undersigned civil and human rights organizations, are writing to express our disappointment that Apple is delaying the full implementation of iOS 14’s anti-tracking features until early 2021.1 These features will constitute a vital policy improvement with the potential to strengthen respect for privacy across the industry. Apple should implement these features as expeditiously as possible.” Read the 2-page report.
“Apple is uniquely positioned to protect users from the invasion of privacy by other companies, and consequently by governments that access corporate data through extra-legal channels. This is why we were so disappointed to learn that the full implementation of the AppTrackingTransparency Framework would be delayed to early 2021. This means that these privacy protections will not be available during the critical weeks leading up to and following the 2020 U.S. elections when people’s data can be used to target them with personalized political ads.” it further stated
The iPhone maker said updates to its mobile operating system would give users more information and control on the tracking of their online activity.
In a letter to Ranking Digital Rights Group, Jane Horvath, Apple’s senior director of global data protection, reiterated that the company believes that “data protection is a fundamental human right.” Horvath explains that Apple delayed the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) property to give builders extra time to organize changes.
The letter also confirms that the application tracking transparency feature, which customers can use to turn off monitoring between completely different tasks, is also pending next year. After the impact, builders need to ask for permission, rather than monitoring the person on apps or websites.
Moreover, criticising Facebook, Horvath said that the social community has “made clear” that its intent is to “collect as much data as possible” on its customers:
“By contrast, Facebook and others have a very different approach to targeting. Not only do they allow the grouping of users into smaller segments, but they also use detailed data about online browsing activity to target ads. Facebook executives have made clear their intent is to collect as much data as possible across both first and third party products to develop and monetize detailed profiles of their users, and this disregard for user privacy continues to expand to include more of their products.”
This comes after Facebook and other major publishers severely criticized Apple in September for iOS 14 privacy changes, which are expected to reduce mobile ad revenue.
“The truth is Apple has expanded its business into advertising and through its upcoming iOS14 changes is trying to move the free internet into paid apps and services where they profit,” said Facebook, referring to the latest update to Apple’s mobile operating system.
“They claim it’s about privacy, but it’s about profit,” Facebook further added