Apple’s long-awaited new privacy features were finally released on April 26 as part of the company’s iOS 14.5 update.  App Tracking Transparency (“ATT”) will send iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV users a pop-up message whenever an whenever an app seeks to track them across other apps and websites.  To opt out of cross-app tracking, users can simply select “Ask App Not To Track” when prompted.

To turn cross-app tracking off by default, users toggle off  “Allow Apps to Request to Track” in their device’s settings (go to Settings > Privacy > Tracking, and toggle off Allow Apps to Request to Track).  While opting out of tracking will not get rid of ads altogether, it should reduce the amount of creepy targeted ads that you might get after searching Google for, say, baby names.

Like the “privacy nutrition labels” recently incorporated into its App Store, ATT is another sign of Apple’s efforts to differentiate itself from AdTech companies by protecting user privacy.  In an update to its app developer guidelines, Apple further signaled how serious it is about enforcing its privacy values.  Apple warns that the use of monetary incentives or dark patterns (misleading or manipulative tricks like pre-checked boxes or highlighted menu options) would be grounds for booting an app from the App Store.

As mentioned in our original post, AdTech giants, such as Facebook and Google, have railed against ATT since it was announced. Indeed, Facebook has already started to threaten to charge users for both its signature service and Instagram if they don’t opt in to tracking.

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