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Apple Privacy Crackdown Spells Trouble For Google, Facebook

App developers who don’t comply with Apple’s new privacy features could wind up getting the boot from the tech giant’s popular App Store.

A top Apple executive on Tuesday (Dec. 8) told Reuters the new privacy protection, which enable users to block advertisers from tracking their online movements, is slated to go into effect early next year.

And App developers who don’t seek their users’ “explicit permission” to allow tracking by advertisers could find their apps barred from Apple’s App Store, Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, told attendees at the European Data Protection and Privacy Conference, the news outlet reported.

“Early next year, we’ll begin requiring all apps that want to do that to obtain their users’ explicit permission, and developers who fail to meet that standard can have their apps taken down from the App Store,” Apple’s Federighi told the conference, according to Reuters.

Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency feature had been originally slated to go live in 2020, but had been held up to given app developers more time to make changes, the news service reported.

When Apple’s new privacy feature finally goes into effect next year, users will be greeted with a pop-up notification the app “would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies,” according to Reuters.

That, needless to say, has not gone over well among other tech giants like Google and Facebook, whose advertising models depend on tracking consumers online and gathering data on their preferences and interests.

Thousands of other companies also track consumers online.

For its part, Facebook has argued Apple’s new privacy crackdown will also hurt smaller app developers, including those in the gaming sector.

But so far, Apple does not appear to be budging, at least judging from Federighi’s comments.

“When invasive tracking is your business model, you tend not to welcome transparency and customer choice,” Federighi told regulators and executives as the European Data Protection and Privacy Conference.

“We need the world to see those arguments for what they are: a brazen attempt to maintain the privacy-invasive status quo,” the Apple executive said, according to Reuters.

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