Apple faces another iOS privacy lawsuit in Europe

The Apple logo on a glass storefront in Ireland
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

France Digitale, a French startup lobby, has filed complaint against Apple with the country’s privacy watchdog.

The complaint has been lodged with the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), as reported by Reuters.

The startup lobby stipulates that Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 14, does not comply with EU privacy requirements. It underlines that although iPhone users are asked whether they allow installed mobile apps to gather a key identifier used to define campaign ads and send targeted ones, the default setting allows Apple to carry out its own targeted ad campaigns without explicitly asking iPhone users for their consent.

This may mean that Apple is violating the EU’s GDPR rules as all organisations must ask users if they agree to have some of their data collected via trackers or through other methods.

“It’s a startup version of David versus Goliath, but we are determined,” France Digitale CEO Nicolas Brien told the publication.

IT Pro has contacted Apple for comment.

France Digitale is a startup network containing over 1,500 startups and 100 investors. Its members include BlaBlaCar, Ring Capital and Cityscoot, and it aims to foster startup growth.

Apple has faced a number of lawsuits in Europe recently. In November last year, a privacy group filed complaints against the company, alleging that iOS 14 allegedly tracks iPhone user behaviour without consent.

The following month, it emerged that Apple is facing more class-action lawsuits as a consumer watchdog accused the latest iOS update of throttling iPhone performance.

Epic Games also announced it was suing Google and Apple over the removal of its popular game Fortnite from their app stores, but the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled in February to dismiss the lawsuit against Apple.

This decision came just after Epic Games filed a complaint in the EU, accusing the tech giant of breaching competition laws.

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.