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Apple's device identifier service for advertisers is being targeted by privacy advocates in two complaints to Spanish and German authorities, reports Bloomberg.

A Vienna-based group called NOYB ("None Of Your Business") has filed complaints with data protection authorities in the two countries, calling for them to outlaw Apple's "Identifier for Advertisers" (IDFA) service.

Each ‌iPhone‌ that Apple sells comes with the unique identifier, which lets advertisers track the actions users take when they use apps. The group argues that the service allows Apple and various apps to track users and collect data on their web use without their consent.
"With our complaints we want to enforce a simple principle: trackers are illegal, unless a user freely consents," NOYB lawyer Stefano Rossetti said in a statement. "Smartphones are the most intimate device for most people and they must be tracker-free by default."
App developers have historically used IDFA to help target users with ads and track the performance of ads across different devices. Next year, however, Apple will require apps to seek customer consent before the IDFA can be used in iOS 14 to track user behavior and preference across apps and websites for ad targeting purposes.

The requirement was announced in June alongside iOS 14 and was originally expected to go into force with the release of Apple's latest mobile operating system, but Apple chose to delay the anti-tracking feature until 2021 to "give developers time to make the necessary changes."

The delay was announced only after major app developers and ad networks like Facebook spoke out against the feature, with Facebook warning advertisers on its platform that it could cause a more than 50 percent drop in Audience Network publisher revenue due to the loss of personalization from ads within apps. Apple is also facing an antitrust complaint from French advertisers who say it could force their revenue to plummet.

Last year, Mozilla launched a petition urging Apple to implement an automatic monthly reset on identifiers to make it harder for companies to build a profile about users over time. "It's like a salesperson following you from store to store while you shop and recording each thing you look at," argued the petition. "Not very private at all."

Article Link: Privacy Group Files Legal Complaints in Europe Targeting Apple's Device Identifier Service for Advertisers
 

ruka.snow

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2017
1,235
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Scotland
I wish NOYB all the success they need to get these companies out of phones. Mozilla also has a good suggestion there but I worry these 'people' would find a way using other data to link to ID's together. It could be as little as knowing that user has seven of their apps installed and then they've narrowed down when the identifier changes for that user.
 
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Reason077

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2007
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Apple's anonymised ID should be the least of their worries. If you don't want it, you can just turn it off in Settings -> Privacy -> Advertising. It needs to be opt in, rather than on by default - but it sounds like this is what Apple already plans to do.

Google and Facebook are an order of magnitude more problematic than anything Apple does. These guys have enough data to build a profile on you without the need for any cross-site advertising IDs. By banning them elsewhere we are just concentrating more and more power (and more advertising dollars) in hands of the largest players.
 
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contacos

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2020
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Mexico City living in Berlin
We use this A LOT at work (online marketing and app development) and it always makes me roll my eyes when Apple talks about caring about its user privacy while letting devs install and use all those Spyware tools in their apps (ours included).

personalized ads aren’t just annoying, they are also dangerous and shaping individuals personality. For instance, I had to do some research for my mother and now all I am receiving is ads or articles about those topics and I am like I AM NOT INTERESTED. What if I like Spain? That doesn’t mean I am not interested in Norway but those ads will keep showing me Spain so eventually your brain will go like Spain Spain Spain. Also a nice „Tool“ to shape opinions
 
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Morgenland

macrumors 65816
May 28, 2009
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Europe
We use this A LOT at work (online marketing and app development) and it always makes me roll my eyes when Apple talks about caring about its user privacy while letting devs install and use all those Spyware tools in their apps (ours included).

personalized ads aren’t just annoying, they are also dangerous and shaping individuals personality. For instance, I had to do some research for my mother and now all I am receiving is ads or articles about those topics and I am like I AM NOT INTERESTED. What if I like Spain? That doesn’t mean I am not interested in Norway but those ads will keep showing me Spain so in your subconscious you are being „tricked“ into thinking Spain is a must even tho there is a lot more to see!
New to the internet? With Google you will probably gouge your eyes out...
 
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tcgjeukens

macrumors regular
May 16, 2007
145
144
Esbeek, the Netherlands
Each ‌iPhone‌ that Apple sells comes with the unique identifier, which lets advertisers track the actions users take when they use apps.
More and more I get the feeling that 'my' iPhone is not MY iPhone. Though I purchased the phone and there has been a point of Title Passage, Apple retains an ownership over the device. Whether that being the IDFA of the Apple Store 'tax'.
I don't mind paying Apple for Apple-effort, but I do feel uneasy when those buying-decisions are out of my control.
 
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Forti

macrumors regular
Nov 14, 2018
162
227
Gdynia, Poland
Apple has been all talk about privacy for years but yet they specifically designed a system that allows advertisers to snoop on you and track you. Must admit I have been an iphone user for years and I didn't know about IDFA.
I don't know about any device that doesn't have IDFA to be honest.
 
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asiga

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2012
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The delay was announced only after major app developers and ad networks like Facebook spoke out against the feature, with Facebook warning advertisers on its platform that it could cause a more than 50 percent drop in Audience Network publisher revenue due to the loss of personalization from ads within apps. Apple is also facing an antitrust complaint from French advertisers who say it could force their revenue to plummet.
That's precisely the point: their revenue should disappear (not drastically, but completely), and yes, any business whose benefits depend on tracking users shouldn't get any money from that. Yes, that will mean that many things that were "free" won't be "free" anymore (note however that they have never been free, because you payed by losing your privacy).
 
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steve23094

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Apr 23, 2013
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Apple has been all talk about privacy for years but yet they specifically designed a system that allows advertisers to snoop on you and track you. Must admit I have been an iphone user for years and I didn't know about IDFA.

Really? I’ve had mine switched off for years. I always check out the Privacy in Settings to see what, if anything, is new.

It’s odd that you care about privacy (evidenced by your post) but wouldn’t have done the same.
 
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WoodpeckerBaby

macrumors 65816
Aug 17, 2016
1,186
1,010
Apple's anonymised ID should be the least of their worries. If you don't want it, you can just turn it off in Settings -> Privacy -> Advertising. It needs to be opt in, rather than on by default - but it sounds like this is what Apple already plans to do.

Google and Facebook are an order of magnitude more problematic than anything Apple does. These guys have enough data to build a profile on you without the need for any cross-site advertising IDs. By banning them elsewhere we are just concentrating more and more power (and more advertising dollars) in hands of the largest players.
Not if you use UBo and block all the Google and Facebooks ads and trackers. If you don’t see ads or trackers ever, then even if Google is tracking you via non-trackers, it’s pointless. What can they do with it?
 
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laptech

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2013
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Earth
Really? I’ve had mine switched off for years. I always check out the Privacy in Settings to see what, if anything, is new.

It’s odd that you care about privacy (evidenced by your post) but wouldn’t have done the same.
Please enlighten me as to where in my post it says i care about privacy? my post makes comment about Apple basically designing a system that allows advertisers to track iphone users and the fact I did not know about IDFA.

Actually it is my contention that you, as happens with many on this forum, have jumped to the wrong conclusion and decided to twist the wording around to mean something it is not.
 
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Goldfinger

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2006
310
10
Belgium
It probably does, but I'm always baffled that advertising works and is worth the time and effort that all these companies put into it.
And if it works, what's the ROI? My gut feeling tells me that it's probably VERY low. But I'm probably biased based on my own ideas around advertising. It has a reverse effect on me personally, the more ads I see of a certain product the less it's likely that I buy that certain product.
If I need a certain product I will do my research and buy the best product. I've never had an add actually sell me anything.
 
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MrDerby01

macrumors member
Jun 2, 2010
98
17
Apple = Anti-privacy populist lying enterprise. Apple says that "privacy is a fundamental human right" during every device setup, but act more and more like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.
Just ask yourself if you honestly really trust a company that remains silent and simply states "We don't track our users". They put up a wall, they put on a good show. I trust Huawei and Google a heck of a lot more for their openness telling the user what they collect and how they use it far more than a company playing the silent treatment game.
 
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steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
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Please enlighten me as to where in my post it says i care about privacy? my post makes comment about Apple basically designing a system that allows advertisers to track iphone users and the fact I did not know about IDFA.

Actually it is my contention that you, as happens with many on this forum, have jumped to the wrong conclusion and decided to twist the wording around to mean something it is not.

Okay, so the converse is that you don’t care about privacy. You don’t have to. But if you don’t then it does beg the question ‘why comment’?
 
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