Poland investigates with Apple about app tracking transparency
Poland investigates with Apple about app tracking transparency

Poland's competition watchdog has announced an investigation with Apple into policy changes on its mobile platform that affect the way third-party apps track iOS users by asking for permission before purchasing data.

The National Competition and Consumer Protection Agency (UOKiK) has announced that it has launched an investigation into changes to the way Apple's mobile platform works with the Tracking.ATT app's transparency feature, which requires app developers to require iOS users to track ad-enablement.

The tech giant announced a transparency feature for tracking apps last summer. After some delays and constant opposition from advertisers, iOS 14.5 was released earlier this year.

UOKiK wrote in a press release about the investigation that this actually means that Apple has severely restricted the ability of third-party apps to obtain personal data through iOS in order to send personalized ads. However, this does not mean that user information is no longer collected and that they do not receive personalized advertising. At the same time, outsiders questioned whether the company's rules were not designed to promote its advertising services to Apple's search ads, which could be anti-competitive.

“The actions of the digital giants pose a challenge to antitrust authorities around the world,” UOKiK President Thomas Krusty added in a statement. “While conducting the investigation, we wanted to know if Apple’s actions could be aimed at eliminating personalized advertising. Competitors in the market should better sell their services.” We are investigating whether this constitutes an exclusive abuse of market power.

Latest Polish supervisory body investigates Apple

After receiving complaints from advertisers, the French competition authority investigated ATT. However, at the beginning of the year, the French competition authority refused to prevent Apple from introducing the ATT functionality. He clarified in March that he did not see the introduction of the trait as an abuse of dominance.

However, the French competition authority said it was continuing to investigate the policy changes. She wants to know if Apple has applied less restrictive rules to its apps than third-party ads. (This appears to be the main focus of the UOKiK survey.)

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