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France Digitale filed a complaint against Apple with CNIL (a data privacy watchdog) on breaching of European Union rules. France’s leading startup lobby confirmed the complaint filing in a statement.

In a seven-page complaint obtained by Reuters, the lobby, which represents most of France’s digital entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, says that Apple’s latest operating system (iOS 14) does not comply with EU privacy regulations.

France Digitale argues that even though iPhone owners are asked by apps whether developers can collect information for targeted ads, Apple is still collecting information without asking, for its own targeted ads.

Goliath vs. France Digitale

The problem here is that Apple is proving time and again that like many big tech companies, it will sneak in ways to profit off its platform, by tilting the playing field in its favor. If the charges are proven to be true, they could result in a billion euro fine for Apple.

The EU data privacy rules say that all organizations must ask visitors online if they agree to have their data collected by trackers and tools of a similar nature.

Even though Apple is clearly giving App Store app developers no option when it comes to this requirement, it is not using the same measuring stick on itself.


The EU rules have provisions for those seeking to collect information and require that they disclose when they are doing this and for what reason. The lobby says that Apple’s tracking function allows it to share data with affiliated companies without telling iPhone users.

France Digitale CEO Nicolas Brien is determined to take on the behemoth, that is Apple.

The complaint comes on the heels of similar complaints against Apple, filed by the French online ad lobbies last year. Apple has rebutted the claims put forth.

Related: Apple messed up and proofs abuse of power with the App Store