France's data protection authority, CNIL, fined Apple €8 million for illegally harvesting iPhone owners' data for targeted ads without proper consent.
The Tame Apple Press is agast as it Apple has made privacy a selling point for its devices, plastering "Privacy. That's iPhone." across 40-foot billboards across the world.
However, it seems that while it was busy doing all that advertising, Apple forgot to obtain the consent of French iPhone users (iOS 14.6 version) before depositing and writing identifiers used for advertising purposes on their terminals.
CNIL's fine calls out the search ads in Apple's App Store, specifically. A French court fined the company over $1 million in December over its commercial practices related to the App Store.
With iPhones running iOS 14.6 and below, Apple's Personalised Advertising privacy setting was turned on by default, leaving users to seek out the control on their own if they wanted to protect their information. That violates EU privacy law, according to the CNIL
The newer versions of the iPhone operating system corrected the problem, presenting users with a prompt before the advertising data was collected.
An Apple spokesperson said that it had done nothing wrong and would appeal.
"Apple Search Ads goes further than any other digital advertising platform we are aware of by providing users with a clear choice as to whether or not they would like personalised ads."