Snapchat reportedly made plans to skirt Apple's new privacy rules and keep tracking its user base

  • Snap, the company that owns Snapchat, explored ways to skirt Apple’s new privacy rules, FT reported.
  • Apple is about to roll out new tools that let people opt out of being tracked by their apps.
  • Snap reportedly wanted to gather data from third parties to keep tabs on users’ behavior.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Snap reportedly researched ways to skirt Apple’s new privacy rules that will ban apps from tracking people without their permission, The Financial Times reported Friday.

The company explored methods of tracking people’s behavior through third parties and cross-referencing that information with its own user database to keep tabs on users, according to the report, which cited internal documents and unnamed sources familiar with the situation.

The report comes as Apple is preparing to roll out new privacy policies that will ask people if they want to let their apps track them and block apps from doing so if they opt out.

The policies are expected to have a massive impact on the digital advertising market, which currently relies on tracking people’s behaviors across apps and websites to more precisely target ads. If most iPhone users opt out of the tracking, the policies could hurt major social media companies’ advertising revenue. Facebook has said Apple’s new policies could cut revenues for its Audience Network, which personalizes ads in third-party apps, by up to 50%.

Snap did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. In a statement to FT, Snap confirmed that it explored methods of tracking users’ behavior using third party services, but said that it would discontinue the system once Apple’s new privacy changes go into effect.

“We support and will follow Apple’s upcoming guidelines because we have always believed that advertising should respect consumers’ privacy,” Snap told the outlet.

Snap isn’t the only company to have explored skirting Apple’s new privacy rules. ByteDance, the Beijing-based company that owns TikTok, reportedly tested Chinese state-backed tools that would make it possible to keep tracking users in China even after Apple’s new standards go into effect.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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