The French privacy watchdog Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) on Wednesday imposed a fine amounting to a staggering €8 million ($8.49 million) linked to ad personalization in Apple’s App Store, citing that there are shortcomings concerning user content.
CNIL said in a statement, “The advertising targeting settings available from the ‘Settings’ icon of the iPhone was pre-checked by default,” even though that was not strictly necessary for the device’s functionality.
The agency added that the case dated back to 2021 and concerned an old version of the iPhone’s operating software. They had also argued that Apple under iOS 14 had failed to ask iPhone users enough for their prior consent to allow installed mobile apps to gather a key identifier used for targeted ads.
After the fine announcement, Apple said they were “disappointed with this decision” and that the iOS brand would file an appeal.
“Apple Search Ads goes further than any other digital advertising platform we are aware of by providing users with a clear choice as to whether or not they would like personalized ads,” the company said.
Recently, Apple’s privacy updates, called App Tracking Transparency, allow users to block apps from tracking activity across apps and websites owned by other companies.
Even so, the fine was already higher than the €6 million penalty requested by the CNIL’s top adviser.