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
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:
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:
In the Settings menu, tap Privacy. See following image:
In Privacy settings, select Tracking. Refer to below image:
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:
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:
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:
After this, exit Settings.
Quote For the Day
I believe the world is increasingly in danger of becoming split into groups which cannot communicate with each other, which no longer think of each other as members of the same species.Carrie Snow
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