From the Financial Times’ “Apple tracks iPhone users without consent, claims activist Max Schrems” ($) posted Monday:
Apple is breaking EU law by enabling iPhone users to be tracked without their consent, said the privacy activist Max Schrems in a complaint to German and Spanish regulators.
Mr Schrems’ campaign group, noyb, said the unique tracking code generated by each iPhone, called IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers), lets Apple and all iPhone app developers see how users behave without their knowledge or agreement.
“Just like a licence plate this unique string of numbers and characters allows Apple and other third parties to identify users across applications and even connect online and mobile behaviour (“cross device tracking”),” said noyb in a statement.
The claims made against Apple in this complaint are factually inaccurate and we look forward to making that clear to privacy regulators should they examine the complaint. Apple does not access or use the IDFA on a user’s device for any purpose. Our aim is always to protect the privacy of our users and our latest software release, iOS 14, is giving users even greater control over whether or not they want to allow apps to track them by linking their information with data from third parties for the purpose of advertising, or sharing their information with data brokers. Our practices comply with European law and support and advance the aims of the GDPR and the e-Privacy Directive, which is to give people full control over their data.
My take: I suspect Apple thought this through before they shipped.