Apple Could be Fined €6m  for Tracking Users Without Consent
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Apple could be fined €6 million for tracking users without their consent, according to a top advisor to France’s data privacy watchdog. 

France Digitale accused Apple of violating EU privacy laws last year, leading the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL)  to launch an investigation.

With iOS 14, Apple released new privacy settings that let consumers control the personal data given to companies. This move had a huge impact on companies like Facebook, and smaller businesses that rely on data collection in apps to generate targeted ads.

France Digitale, however, has claimed that Apple’s privacy policies do not extend to its own apps and services. In other words, the iGiant tracks users without their explicit consent and doesn’t give them the choice to opt out. Now, Francois Pellegrini, a rapporteur working on behalf of CNIL, has sided with France Digitale. He recommended Apple be fined €6 million ($6.3 million) for flouting the European Union’s ePrivacy directive.

Apple released iOS 14.6 in February broke its own privacy rules and allowed them to collect location data from users, although as of June, they changed it and have since removed the cookie-collection feature, according to Reuters

Gary Davis, Apple’s head of privacy, disagreed with the French regulator and believed any sanctions should be decreased. “The absence of any seriousness to the breach…means that the amount of the fine should be decreased,” he said.

The decision on this matter is still pending with the authorities at CNIL.

Currently, Apple is facing a €6 million ($6.8 million) fine from the CNIL. Although this is a significant amount of money for most individuals, it’s a far cry from some of the penalties and fines Apple has faced in France before. Previously, they incurred €48.5 million ($51.1 million) for violations of antitrust laws and another €25 million ($26.3 million) for throttling older iPhones with limited battery capacity to prevent them from turning off unexpectedly.

In October, a €1.1 billion ($1.15 billion) fine from the Autorité de la Concurrence – France’s antitrust body – against Apple was slashed to just €372 million ($392 million). The lower fine stemmed from a decision by courts to drop charges that claimed Apple conspired with distributors Tech Data and Ingram Micro to fix prices for some of their devices by agreeing not to sell them at discounted rates.

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