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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Apple - the President of UOKiK initiates an investigation

< previous | next > 13.12.2021

Apple - the President of UOKiK initiates an investigation
  • Do the new rules of the Privacy Policy and Personal Data Processing Policy introduced by Apple for iOS devices violate competition law?
  • President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has initiated an investigation into the matter.

When we use mobile devices, we very often disclose information about our online activity, including our personal data, which are then used to present us with personalised advertisements. Information about us may be collected – and shared with third parties – by developers of both applications and operating systems. The President of UOKiK has initiated an investigation concerning the change in rules of the Privacy Policy and Personal Data Processing Policy on Apple devices. This applies to all products running iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, tvOS 14.5 and their later versions.

The change under review extends the obligations that the apps need to fulfil to get permission to track user activity. In practice, this means that Apple has significantly reduced the ability of third-party apps to obtain personal data on iOS in order to send personalised ads. However, this does not mean that users' information is no longer being collected and that they do not receive personalised ads. At the same time, doubts have arisen as to whether the rules established by Apple were not designed to promote their own advertising service, Apple Search Ads, which could be a violation of competition principles.

"The actions of digital giants are a challenge for antitrust authorities all around the world. During the course of our investigation, we want to examine whether Apple's actions may be aimed at eliminating competitors in the market for personalised advertising services, the objective being to better sell their own service. We will investigate whether this is a case of exclusionary abuse of market power," says Tomasz Chróstny, the President of UOKiK.

The investigation concerns the matter itself and is not directed against any particular entrepreneur. The purpose of the President's activities is to verify whether this case involves a restriction of competition.

The Office also runs a programme aimed at acquiring information from anonymous whistleblowers. Please visit https://konkurencja.uokik.gov.pl/sygnalista/ and fill in a simple form. The European system that we use guarantees full anonymity, also towards the Office.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

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ICPENICNPolish Aid