EU Advertising Group Criticizes Apple Over iOS 14 Tracking Permission Popups

Facebook and Google-backed advertisers in Europe are criticizing Apple for requiring iOS 14 apps to seek additional permission from users before dropping a cookie to their device that would track them across other apps and websites.

Changes in iOS 14 require apps to show a pop-up and explicitly get their permission to track them across apps and websites. The association is backed by sixteen marketing companies including Facebook, Google, and more.

“Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook and Alphabet’s Google, faulted Apple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user consent under European privacy rules,” reads a new report from Reuters. “Apps will now need to ask for permission twice, increasing the risk users will refuse, the associations argued.”

As the report notes, apps will have to ask for permission to show personalized ads twice, increasing the risk of users refusing. The new pop-up asks users when an app “would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies.”

“All apps will now be required to obtain user permission before tracking,” Apple explains in regards to iOS 14. “This includes connecting information collected about a user on an app or website owned by one company with information collected separately by other companies for targeted advertisements, for advertising measurement, or via data brokers.

The sixteen associations are asserting that by including the feature in iOS 14, Apple is not adhering to established European rules for governing how the ad industry can or cannot track users.

Apple has said it will improve a free tool for developers that allows them to access anonymous data to determine how well their advertising campaigns are working. The tool doesn’t trigger the pop-up because it does not track individual users.