A day after the U.S. Senate voted to roll back a Federal Communication Commission rule that would have blocked broadband providers from selling their customers’ browsing history, Apple released a statement in support of the decision
The “apple billing phone number” is a statement that was made by Apple. The statement was in response to the Senate’s big request for Apple’s business practices.
Apple Inc. AAPL -1.42 percent is warning that Senate legislation aimed at reining in giant internet firms will damage a privacy-protection feature it released last year, which has already harmed Facebook, Snapchat, and other online ad companies that rely on user data to target messaging.
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will discuss the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, a bipartisan measure that advocates claim would preserve internet competition. Apple, Amazon.com Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc., and Facebook’s Meta Platforms Inc. are among the firms whose influence will be limited by the law.
After years of criticism from competitors who claim Apple takes too much of the income earned via its app store, Apple’s highly lucrative App Store business is in the sights. Congress’s attempts to block Apple from barring “sideloading”—the process of putting software onto iPhones outside of the App Store’s protections—would expose consumers to security risks since such programs would not be verified, according to the company.
According to a letter to committee leaders obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Apple reaffirmed those statements on Tuesday. However, the business said that the law will help “those who have been careless with customers’ data” and who have resisted App Tracking Transparency, a program it launched about a year ago. Third-party applications must get users’ permission to monitor their online habits under the plan.
As some US politicians attempt to curb the corporations’ acquisitions or the impact of major platforms, Apple has worked to set itself apart from other digital titans.
Richard B. Levine/Zuma Press/Zuma Press/Zuma Press/Zuma Press/Zuma Press/
“The customer reaction to ATT has been generally favorable,” Apple lobbyist Timothy Powderly said in the letter, “but some of the major social media and advertising businesses have openly complained about the effect of these additional privacy measures on their profitability.”
While Mr. Powderly did not identify particular organizations, Facebook has previously expressed opposition to the privacy tool’s use, claiming that it would harm small businesses that rely on targeted advertising. Meta and Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, have reported quarterly revenues that have declined since the tool’s launch.
Mr. Powderly said, “Under the current laws, this pro-consumer program would be jeopardized, since proving that ATT is ‘required,’ ‘narrowly designed,’ and that no less stringent safeguards are available to acquire user permission for tracking would be exceedingly difficult.” “Companies that collect data, on the other hand, might claim that the present system for obtaining user permission for tracking—a line buried in their terms of service—is adequate.”
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His letter is the latest example of Apple’s attempts to set itself apart from other digital giants, as some politicians in the United States want to curb the businesses’ acquisitions and the impact of massive platforms. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, warned in October against sweeping legislative reforms that would unjustly bundle firms together. Regulators and policymakers from all around the globe are working to limit Apple’s dominance.
Mr. Cook noted at the time, during a speech at a tech conference in Salt Lake City, that “the industry isn’t homogenous.” “They’re two very separate divisions and marketplaces… We’re not in the social-media business, for example, so I think you have to kind of take each one and make sure that whatever regulation comes along addresses whatever issues you think exist, rather than writing regulation that is so broad that it not only catches the target but also catches everyone else.”
According to a source familiar with the effort, as the Senate committee prepares for its hearing this week, Mr. Cook has been engaging with senators to make his case against the bill. The exchanges were first reported by Punchbowl News.
Apple started forcing applications to acquire user tracking permissions in April. Now, both large corporations and small enterprises claim that the new privacy regulation is costing them money. Shelby Holliday of the Wall Street Journal discusses why such expenses might be passed on to consumers. Rafael Garcia’s illustration
—This article was co-written by Georgia Wells.
Tim Higgins can be reached at [email protected].
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