CNIL: Fine against Apple of 8 million euros for issuing advertising IDs without consent

At the end of December, the French regulator CNIL imposed another fine on Apple, this time 8€ million.

The accusation:
Apple had not obtained consent of French iPhone users (version iOS 14.6) before storing identifiers used for advertising purposes on the users’ end devices.

Following a complaint about the personalisation of advertising in Apple’s App Store, the CNIL conducted several investigations in 2021 and 2022 to verify compliance with applicable regulations.

In the course of the investigations, it was then discovered that under the old version 14.6 of the iOS operating system for iPhones, identifiers were used for various purposes when visiting the App Store without prior consent being obtained. Since these identifiers were not necessary for the use of the App Store, they were not allowed to be read out and stored without the user’s prior consent.

In practice, however, the settings for displaying advertisements on the iPhone were activated by default.

To deactivate this setting, the user had to perform a larger number of actions: go to the menu item “Privacy” via “Settings” and finally go to the section “Apple advertising” there. This procedure was not suitable for obtaining effective consent from the users concerned.