How to Ask iPhone and iPad Apps Not to Track You

With a software update that arrived recently, called iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, Apple is finally forcing apps to come clean about a kind of surveillance they have been conducting on us for the past decade. Behind the scenes, apps can probe your phone for personal information that helps them target you with ads or even sell data about you to others. Now. marketers and data brokers can not access a valuable way to identify your phone unless you explicitly say it’s okay.

With a software update that arrived recently, called iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, Apple is finally forcing apps to come clean about a kind of surveillance they have been conducting on us for the past decade. Behind the scenes, apps can probe your phone for personal information that helps them target you with ads or even sell data about you to others. Now. marketers and data brokers can not access a valuable way to identify your phone unless you explicitly say it’s okay.

This is for the iPhone and iPad running iOS or iPadOS 14.5 or higher

Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

A feature on your iPhone or iPad called “App Tracking Transparency” allows you to ask apps not to track you across the internet for advertising and data brokering purposes.

Facebook, and its sister app Instagram, has begun asking permission and the company says it will roll out a screen arguing why you should allow it to track you.

Why Am I Tracked

To get the most out of their advertising budgets, advertisers want their ads to be seen by customers who will buy the product or service they are offering. That way, they do not spend money advertising to the wrong audience. To increase the effectiveness of ads, companies build advertising profiles on individuals, and these profiles can follow you across services run by different companies on the internet.

Apple began to fight back against this practice, building privacy controls. As of the 14.5 update, Apple requires app developers to ask your permission before adding information from that app or data from your iPhone or iPad to an advertising profile that would track you beyond its own app.

Facebook says by tapping “Ask App not to Track“, you are hurting small businesses and free apps that depend on its targeted advertising. In addition to targeting your interests, tracking also helps advertisers learn whether their ads work.

The decision to fight app tracking now is pretty self-serving on the part of Apple. The iPhone maker has a financial interest to push apps to make money from subscriptions rather than advertising, because it gets to take a percentage cut of any in-app purchases.

How Not to be Tracked

Whenever you use an iPhone or iPad app that wants to track you in iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, or higher, you will see a pop-up message that reads “Allow [app name] to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?” Just below that, you will find a line about what exactly the app wants to do with your data, such as “deliver personalized ads” or “measure advertising efficiency“.

If you do not want data from this app to go toward building a tracking profile that goes beyond the company that makes the app, tap “Ask App Not to Track“. Refer to below image:

Disallow app to track you option

By clicking “Ask App Not to Track“, you’re trusting the app vendor to follow through and honor this request. You are also hoping that Apple’s pressure on these app developers; and its future app screening process; will hold.

How to See Which Apps Track You

If you would like to see which apps you have allowed to track you, first open Settings (the gear icon) app on your iPhone or iPad. See below image:

Accessing Settings

In the Settings menu, tap Privacy. See following image:

Accessing Privacy option

In Privacy settings, select Tracking. Refer to below image:

Accessing Tracking option

There, you will see a list of apps that have asked for permission to track you. To change an option for an individual app, tap the toggle beside it. See below image:

Disallow an app to track you

After that, exit Settings. Any time you need to revisit information on which apps you have allowed to track you, just visit:

Settings > Privacy > Tracking

How to Stop Apps From Asking Permission

If you are frequently seeing “Ask App Not to Track” pop-ups, you can disable them entirely in Settings. Doing this means that you decline all requests to track you by default, but it does not ensure that apps will not ever try to track you.

First, open the Settings app and navigate to:

Privacy > Tracking

See following image:

Accessing Tracking option

At the top of the Tracking page, toggle the switch beside “Allow Apps to Request to Track to turn it Off. Refer to below image:

Disallow apps to track you

After this, exit Settings.

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Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Stop Apps From Asking to Track You

If you are like me, you are not too keen on being tracked. So when an app asks you if it can track your iPhone activity across other programs and websites for ads, the answer is pretty much always “NO”. If you are tired of choosing Ask App Not to Track over and over again, there is a way to stop apps from even being able to ask in the first place.

If you are like me, you are not too keen on being tracked. So when an app asks you if it can track your iPhone activity across other programs and websites for ads, the answer is pretty much always “NO”. If you are tired of choosing Ask App Not to Track over and over again, there is a way to stop apps from even being able to ask in the first place.

While the setting was available in earlier versions of iOS 14, it was not useful because developers were not required to ask for tracking permission until iOS 14.4. So if you are not running iOS 14.4 or later, you may see the setting, but you will not get any tracking requests from apps.

With one system-wide setting disabled, most of the apps on your iPhone will not be able to (or are not supposed to) track your activity across other apps and websites.

But, permission is not a hard and fast rule. According to Apple, some apps might try to track you without getting the “OK” from you first.

With that in mind, let us explore this “not asking” feature.

This is for iPhone and iPad running iOS or iPadOS 14.4+

Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

First, open Settings (the gear icon) on your iPhone or iPad. Refer to below image:

Contact 1
Accessing Settings

Next, scroll down to the Privacy option and tap it. See below image:

Contact 2
Accessing Privacy option

Now, tap Tracking near the top of your screen. See following image:

Contact 3
Accessing Tracking option

Next, tap the toggle beside Allow Apps to Request to Track to turn it off (to the left position). Refer to below image:

Contact 4
Disabling Request to Track option

Now, exit Settings. From now on, apps will no longer pop-up requests asking to track you. This means that you are telling all apps not to profile you for targeted advertising; unless you have previously given them permission to do so.

To change which apps can track you for targeted advertising individually, follow the above steps and turn off the toggles beside any app listed there. It is important to note that even with this option disabled, you can still be tracked while using the web on your iPhone or iPad.

That’s it. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter.

Just click the Tweet icon below. This will launch Twitter where you click its icon to post the Tweet.

Check out TechSavvy.Life for blog posts on smartphones, PCs, and Macs. You may email us at contact@techsavvy.life for comments or questions.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath