French startup foyer to file privateness grievance in opposition to Apple, Telecom Information, ET Telecom

By Mathieu Rosemain

PARIS: France Digitale will file a complaint against iPhone manufacturer Apple with the CNIL data protection officer on Tuesday for alleged violations of EU regulations, France’s leading startup lobby said in a statement.

In the seven-page complaint from Reuters, the lobby, which represents the majority of French digital entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in France, claims that Apple’s latest operating software, iOS 14, does not comply with EU data protection regulations.

France Digitale argues that while iPhone owners will be asked if they are willing to allow installed mobile apps to collect a key identifier that is used to define campaign ads and send targeted ads. However, the default settings allow Apple to run its own targeted advertising campaigns without clearly asking iPhone users for their prior consent.

According to EU data protection regulations, all organizations must ask visitors online if they consent to some of their data being collected through trackers or other tools.

The same rules also give anyone the right to request information about the purposes of such data collection and its collection.

The lobby also claims that Apple’s tracking functionality makes it possible to share the data it collects with affiliates without notifying users.

“It’s a startup version of David versus Goliath, but we are determined,” said Nicolas Brien, CEO of France Digitale, in a statement.

“The allegations in the complaint are obviously false and are being viewed for what they are. This is a poor attempt by those persecuting users to distract from their own actions and to mislead regulators and policymakers,” Apple said in a written declaration.

France Digitale’s complaint follows a similar lawsuit against Apple that French online advertising lobbies filed with the antitrust authorities last October.

This also happens after complaints from the Austrian interest group Noyb to data protection officers in Germany and Spain, according to which Apple’s tracking tool has illegally enabled the US technology giant to store user data without their consent.

Apple also denied these claims.

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