Apple faces critics over its privacy policies

    Apple presents itself as a white knight on the subject of privacy, but critics say its own advertising ambitions are built on anti-competitive practices.
    By: AFP
    | Updated on: Dec 07 2022, 01:07 IST
    iPhone 15 Pro: USB-C port, solid state button, chip and more- Know what's coming
    iPhone 14 Pro Max
    1/6 With the expected launch of the four iPhone 15 models in September 2023, Apple is likely to being several new features to the pro models of the lineup. Here are the expected features iPhone 15 Pro models can get according to the latest leaks and reports. (HT Tech)
    iPhone 14 Pro
    2/6 USB-C port: According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, iPhone 15 Pro models may feature a USB-C port with the help of which the data transfer speed of the phone will increase. (AFP)
    image caption
    3/6 Round edge design: Apple is expected to give iPhone 15 a new border design, rounded edge and flat front. Informing about the same Twitter user and leakster ShrimpApplePro (@VNchocoTaco) saud that the iPhone 15 will feature a new border design. The back edge corner will be rounded and not square anymore and the material also will be titanium. (Reuters)
    iPhone 14 Pro Max
    4/6 Solid state button: Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities had informed that the volume button and the power button of two high end iPhone 15 models may adopt a solid state button design similar to home button design of iPhone 7/8/SE2 and 3. (HT Tech)
    iPhone 14 Pro
    5/6 He tweeted, "My latest survey indicates that the volume button and power button of two high-end iPhone 15/2H23 new iPhone models may adopt a solid-state button design (similar to the home button design of iPhone 7/8/SE2 & 3) to replace the physical/mechanical button design." (AFP)
    image caption
    6/6 A17 chip: According to Japanese publication, the iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to be equipped with an A17 Bionic chip providing improved performance and overall experience. (HT Tech)
    Apple
    View all Images
    Apple has made protection of user privacy central to its image, and long opposed ads on its platforms. (Bloomberg)

    Apple presents itself as a white knight on the subject of privacy, but critics say its own advertising ambitions are built on anti-competitive practices.

    Two developers going by the name 'Mysk' claimed last month that Apple was tracking users' every tap on the App Store, with no way of disabling the function.

    A class action lawsuit was subsequently filed in California, claiming that Apple's "promises regarding privacy are utterly false".

    The company has not commented and did not respond to questions from AFP.

    But Apple has made protection of user privacy central to its image, and long opposed ads on its platforms.

    It threw a spanner in the works of the surveillance capitalism system last year when it gave users the power to easily block apps from collecting data on them.

    That move was a nightmare for many apps -- from giants like Facebook to small start-ups -- who use that data to sell targeted ads.

    Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, warned in early 2022 that the change could shave $10 billion of its revenue for the year, and it has no doubt played a part in its tanking share price (down 38 percent on the year) and decision to axe 11,000 staff last month.

    Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last week that Apple's approach was a "conflict of interest" since it was designed to undermine rivals.

    "It's problematic for one company to be able to control what app experiences end up on a device," he said. "(The) vast majority of profits in mobile ecosystem go towards Apple."

    - European cases -

    The first legal pushback against Apple was launched in France, where an association of online advertisers and content publishers filed a complaint with the Competition Authority.

    The judges dismissed the idea that Apple's rules were inherently anti-competitive, but are still investigating whether Apple is applying those rules more favourably for its own apps compared to others.

    French app developers have also lodged a case with privacy watchdog CNIL (the National Commission for Technology and Freedoms).

    Similar cases have since been launched in Germany and Poland.

    Apple refuses to say how much it makes from advertising on its App Store.

    Analysts at Wedbush Securities estimate it is $4.5 billion annually, and this could rise to $30 billion if it starts putting ads on its Maps and Apple TV apps, rivalling the big players of Google, Meta and Amazon.

    For advertisers, waiting for a legal response is painful.

    "It's not going fast enough considering the very strong impacts on competition," said Nicolas Rieul, president of France's Digital Alliance, which represents online marketers.

    Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

    First Published Date: 07 Dec, 01:03 IST
    Tags:
    NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS
    keep up with tech