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Google-backed groups criticize new Apple alerts about tracking …

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By Stephen Nellis and Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – A group of European digital advertising associations on Friday criticized Apple’s plans to require apps to seek additional permission from users before tracking them on other apps and websites.

Apple last week unveiled features for its next operating system that will require applications to show a pop-up screen before they enable a form of tracking generally needed to display personalized ads.

Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are supported by Facebook and Google, criticized Apple for not adhering to an ad system that seeks user consent under European privacy rules. Now, applications will need to ask for permission twice, increasing the risk of users refusing, the associations argued.

Facebook and Google are the largest of thousands of companies that track online consumers to understand their habits and interests and run targeted ads.

Apple said the new feature aims to give users greater transparency about how their information is being used. In training sessions at a developer conference last week, Apple showed that app developers can present any number of additional screens in advance to explain why permission is required before triggering the pop-up.

The pop-up says that an app “wants permission to track you on third-party apps and websites” and provides the app developer with the ability to add text to explain why permission is requested.

The group of European marketing companies said that the pop-up warning and the limited ability to personalize it still carry “a high risk of user refusal”.

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