Financial times reported Apple’s “loose” privacy policies allow apps such as Facebook and Snapchat to continue tracking users for targeted advertising even when they have asked to not be tracked.
Apple recently enabled an app tracking transparancy feature that lets the user opt-out of tracking across apps and websites for advertising. Even months after Apple introduced the feature, many companies including Snapchat and Facebook have allegedly been allowed to continue sharing user-level signals from iPhones, providing that data is anonymized and aggregated rather than directly linked to specific user profiles.
Financial Times reports, emphasizing that companies including Snap and Facebook “have been allowed to keep sharing user-level signals from iPhones, as long as that data is anonymized and aggregated rather than tied to specific user profiles.”
Snap and Facebook both point out that Apple’s guidelines say that companies can’t collect data for the purpose of “uniquely identifying it.”
These companies point out that Apple has told developers they “may not derive data from a device for the purpose of uniquely identifying it.” This means they can observe “signals” from an iPhone at a group level, enabling ads that can still be tailored to “cohorts” aligning with certain behavior but not associated with unique IDs.
Also, Apple reportedly continues to trust apps to collect user-level data such as IP address, location, language, device, and screen size, even though some of this information is passed onto advertisers.