Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the Bundeskartellamt has announced that it’s initiated a proceeding against Apple to review its tracking rules and the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) Framework. In particular, the agency says “Apple’s rules have raised the initial suspicion of self-preferencing and/or impediment of other companies.”

Apple introduced the App Tracking Transparency Framework for third-party apps with its updates iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5 in April 2021. ATT allows you to choose whether an app can track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites for the purposes of advertising or sharing with data brokers. Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, apps must ask for permission before tracking your activity across other companies’ apps and websites. 

Tracking occurs when information that identifies you or your device collected from an app is linked with information that identifies you or your device collected on apps, websites and other locations owned by third parties for the purposes of targeted advertising or advertising measurement, or when the information collected is shared with data brokers.

“We welcome business models which use data carefully and give users choice as to how their data are used,” says Bundeskartellamt President Andreas Mundt. “A corporation like Apple which is in a position to unilaterally set rules for its ecosystem, in particular for its app store, should make pro-competitive rules. We have reason to doubt that this is the case when we see that Apple’s rules apply to third parties, but

not to Apple itself. This would allow Apple to give preference to its own offers or impede other companies.”

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today