Despite pushback from the ad industry, Apple says it plans to move forward early next year with new privacy settings that will require app developers to obtain users' consent before tracking for ad purposes.
In a letter to New America’s Open Technology Institute and other watchdogs, Apple said Thursday that it remains “fully committed” to its new settings.
“Tracking can be invasive, even creepy, and more often than not it takes place without meaningful user awareness or consent,” Apple said in the letter, posted on 9to5Mac.
“What some companies call 'personalized experiences' are often veiled attempts to gather as much data as possible about individuals, build extensive profiles on them, and then monetize those profiles," Apple wrote. "We are not against advertising, we simply think tracking should be transparent and under user control, which will engender user trust that will benefit all.”
The new setting, which Apple has dubbed “App Tracking Transparency,” will prohibit app developers from using the “identifier for advertising” -- an alphanumeric string that enable tracking across apps -- unless consumers consent on an app-by-app basis.
Apple announced the new setting in June, prompting vociferous complaints by the ad industry, which claims that asking consumers to opt in to tracking will deprive companies of revenue.
In September, a coalition of ad organizations demanded an “urgent meeting” with Apple over its plans.
The ad groups also formed a new organization, the Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media, with the express goal of persuading Apple to rethink its planned privacy settings. And in Europe, The Interactive Advertising Bureau France and other groups filed an antitrust complaint against Apple over the planned setting.`