Polish regulator starts investigation into Apple’s privacy policy

Apple is about to face an investigation in Poland over whether its new rules on privacy and personal data processing for devices running its iOS violate competition law. The investigation was announced by the Polish antimonopoly regulator on Monday.

The iPhone maker released an update of its iOS operating system in April containing new privacy controls designed to limit how digital ad companies track iPhone owners.

The Polish watchdog said that Apple’s rules have made it harder for third-party apps to get personal data to send personalized ads to potential customers.

Is Apple trying to kill competitors?

According to a statement by UOKIK president Tomasz Chrostny, the investigation aims to find out whether Apple took these steps to eliminate competitors in the personal advertising services market so it can fill the vacuum created.

Chrostny said that the regulator will investigate “whether this is a case of exclusionary abuse of market power.”

Even though the regulator said that it was investigating the matter, it did not say whether the proceedings are exclusively aimed at one particular company. At the time of writing this, Apple has not yet given an official statement regarding the case or responded to requests for comment.

Apple’s lie

The European Union’s tech chief Margrethe Vestager has warned the company against using privacy and security as an excuse to keep competitors from accessing the same perks of having access to data.

Quite recently, some key figures associated with or directly in contact with the company have used privacy and security arguments to prevent opening up app options for its user to include third-party providers (sideloading) instead of forcing everyone to get what they need from the App Store.

This tactic aims to mislead users into thinking that they could be at risk if they don’t implicitly trust that Apple does everything in their best interests.