US senators urge FTC to investigate Apple for ‘turning online advertising into intense surveillance’

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In a letter today to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Leena Khan, four US lawmakers said the FTC should “investigate the role of Apple and Google in turning online advertising into an intensive system of surveillance”. wall street journal,

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Apple and Google “deliberately facilitated harmful practices by creating ad-specific tracking IDs in their mobile operating systems,” said the letter, on which US Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Cory signed. Booker (D-New Jersey), as well as US Representative Sarah Jacobs (D-California).

Since the release of iOS 14.5 in April 2021, as part of a feature called App Tracking Transparency, Apple has required apps to ask permission before tracking user activity on other companies’ apps and websites. . If a user selects the “Ask the App not to be tracked” option, the App cannot access the Device Identifier (IDFA) for Advertisers. However, in earlier versions of iOS, IDFA access was enabled by default.

“However, until recently, Apple enabled this Tracking ID by default and consumers were required to review confusing phone settings to turn it off,” the letter said, adding that “these IDs have been exposed to erratic data. The middleman market has been promoted for

Given that Apple already implemented app tracking transparency last year, it’s unclear whether any potential FTC investigation will lead to further changes to the company’s existing policies. wall street journal He said representatives for the FTC, Apple and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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