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Poland Probes Apple Over App Tracking Transparency Rules

 |  December 13, 2021

Apple is being investigated by a regulator in Poland over App Tracking Transparency for iOS, with the privacy initiative being called potentially anti-competitive. 

The introduction of App Tracking Transparency to iOS has helped improve the privacy of Apple’s users, by reducing the amount of data third-party firms can collect from apps. While it has received criticism from advertising-centric companies and the industry at large, it is now being probed by a regulator over competition fears. 

Polish antimonopoly watchdog UOKiK announced the investigation into Apple, looking into the ATT rules relating to privacy and personal data processing, to determine if it violates competition law. According to the regulator, the rules considerably reduced the ability for third-party apps to get hold of data about the user, which could be used to serve targeted ads.

“We want to examine whether Apple’s actions may be aimed at eliminating competitors in the market for personalized advertising services, the objective being to better sell their own service” said UOKiK president Tomasz Chrostny. “We will investigate whether this is a case of exclusionary abuse of market power.” 

Apple has previously been accused of using its privacy claims to increase its profits, while at the same time costing advertisers billions in revenue. At the same time, Apple’s own in-house advertising arm is thought to be enjoying more revenue as a result, with analysts forecasting 2021 advertising revenues of $5 billion, rising to $20 billion within three years.