P&G worked with Chinese trade group on tech to bypass Apple’s new privacy rules



Procter & Gamble Co. PG,
+ 0.36%
participated in the testing of an advertising technique developed in China to collect iPhone data for targeted advertising, a step intended to give companies a way to bypass Apple Inc.’s AAPL,
new privacy tools, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move is part of a larger effort by the consumer goods giant to prepare for an era in which new rules and consumer preferences limit the amount of data available to marketers. P&G – among the world’s largest advertisers, with brands such as Gillette razors and Charmin toilet paper – is the largest Western company involved in the effort, people said.

The company has partnered with dozens of Chinese trade groups and tech companies working with the state-backed China Advertising Association to develop the new technique, which would use a technology called device fingerprinting, people said. Called CAID, the advertising method is tested through applications and collects data from iPhone users to serve targeted ads.

Apple is planning a software update in the coming weeks that will force app users to choose whether they want their activity tracked on other companies’ apps and websites. Apple touted the new software as an important step in putting privacy controls in the hands of users. Device fingerprints go against Apple’s rules, and the tech company has said it will ban any app that violates its policies.

An extended version of this article appears on WSJ.com.

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