- Some iOS 14 users started seeing messages asking for permission to be tracked by apps, which is a policy change Apple announced earlier this year.
- The new privacy feature will be launched early next year, but Apple may be testing the dialog boxes as some iOS 14.4 beta users have already begun to see them.
- Many developers are dissatisfied with the new policy, especially Facebook.
Apple follows up on its commitment to protecting users ‘privacy by requiring developers to ask users for permission to track them for advertising purposes across other companies’ apps and websites. The instructions were expected to start appearing early next year, but some Apple device users discovered the dialog box after installing the first iOS 1
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An iPad owner on MacRumors the forum took a screenshot when his iPad running iOS 14.4 beta 1 asked him if he wanted to let the NBA app track his online activity. “Your data will be used to provide you with a better and more personalized advertising experience,” it read. The user had two options: Ask the app not to track or Allow.
Apple initially said that this privacy feature would be available with iOS 14 at launch, but after a scream from developers, Apple pushed the launch back and explained that they wanted to “give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes, and as a result the requirement to use this tracking permit will take effect early next year. ”This will indicate that the instructions some users see are a test or a limited rollout.
Facebook has been the loudest disruptor of the policy, claiming that it “will have a detrimental effect on many small businesses struggling to stay afloat and on the free internet that we all trust more than ever.” The company went so far as to take out a full-page ad in New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal to blow up a policy that it says will “change the internet as we know it – for the worse.”
Apple responded to the criticism with a separate statement last Wednesday, December 16:
We believe that this is a simple matter of standing up for our users. Users should know when their data is collected and shared across other apps and websites – and they should have the choice to allow it or not. App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 does not require Facebook to change its approach to tracking users and creating targeted advertising, it simply requires that they give users a choice.
If Facebook refuses to let messages appear in its apps, the app can be removed from the App Store. Facebook will probably not allow this to happen, and it therefore seems unlikely that anything will come from the campaign.