Thursday, March 18, 2021

Chinese Tech Companies Are Trying To Circumvent New Apple Privacy Rules

Apple has some major privacy changes coming to devices running iOS 14. One of the major opponents of the move is Facebook, which has openly attacked the changes. But rather than having a public spat in a similar manner, Chinese tech giants may have a different idea.

According to a report by the Financial Times, state-backed China Advertising Association (CAA) is testing a tool to bypass the new Apple privacy rules. This will then allow companies to continue tracking users without their consent. In turn, this allows the companies to continue serving targeted ads.

The tool is known as CAID, and it’s being touted as “a substitute if the user’s IDFA is unavailable”. Though the CAA claims that the CAID is both not yet formally implemented, and “does not stand in opposition to Apple’s privacy policy”. The association goes on to say that it’s “actively communicating” with Apple regarding the matter.

The CAID has been reportedly in a free demo phase for select companies for a few months. It is even set to be released as soon as this week. Sources to the Financial Times claim that Tencent and ByteDance are currently testing the system. Apple, on the other hand, is aware of the tool and seems to have turned a blind eye so far. Though if it wanted, the company could detect which app uses the tool, and block them from the Chinese App Store.

So what’s stopping the company from actually doing so? The report quotes Zach Edwards, founder of tech consultancy agency Victory Medium, as saying that Apple can’t afford to ban every app in the country. Doing so will ultimately get it kicked out of the market.

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