Tech giant Apple has warned developers that their apps could be pulled from its store if they refuse to comply with a new Tracking Transparency framework it says prevents advertisers from gathering user data.

Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency feature forces companies to present an authorization prompt to users on an opt-in basis before they can track people across different applications, as well as requiring them to state publicly what data they collect.   

Some tech companies and advertisers, including Facebook, have criticized the new approach, saying they’re concerned it could hurt smaller developers and gaming companies. However, it’s been suggested their opposition is more likely linked to their policy of tracking online consumers to monitor their habits and ensure they are presented with particular ads.  

Apple’s software engineering chief Craig Federighi told companies ahead of the introduction of the new policy that they don’t plan on making exceptions, warning that the largest players must understand they will “have to play by the rules here.”  

Dismissing the criticism, he said that the tech industry would eventually adapt to provide effective advertising without invasively tracking users.  

Apple itself has previously been accused of using online tracking tools to collect data, with a complaint filed against it only last month in Germany and Spain. The iPhone giant refuted the accusation, arguing it was “factually inaccurate.”  

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