Apple has fired a warning shot at Facebook and Google by insisting it will remove their apps from its App Store if they don’t comply with Cupertino's new privacy standard.
Speaking at the European Data Protection and Privacy Conference on Tuesday, Apple's senior VP of software Craig Federighi made a number of pointed comments about how “some tech companies” would prefer it if Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature was “never implemented at all.”
He made it clear that despite Apple delaying the release of new privacy features in its mobile operating system – a decision made shortly after Facebook
publicly attacked the idea – it will now roll out in early 2021 and “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.”
Federighi also criticized the “data-industrial complex,” as he called it, and noted that while Apple's operating systems and apps had been designed to protect user privacy, other companies’ versions have been “designed specifically to collect your information.”
Without directly naming Facebook
and Google, he then gave numerous indications about who he was talking about. Talking about the addition of encryption to Apple’s video conferencing service, Federighi said: “Ten years after Apple launched Facetime even the most data-hungry companies have started building encryption into their communication products.” He means Facebook