Apple’s iOS Update Gives Users More Control of Their Privacy
Apple Users Can Block Ad Trackers
On Monday Apple (AAPL) rolled out its new operating software, iOS 14.5, which gives users more control over their privacy—including the ability to prevent advertisers from tracking them online.
The so-called App Tracking Transparency tool will prompt users to opt out of tracking by apps that share data with third parties. This means that information about consumers’ interests and shopping habits will not be given to companies without users’ consent.
How the Software Update Works
With the new software in place, when an app wants to track a user, a window will pop up asking the user for permission. If they say no to tracking, the app can no longer monitor their activity and share data. If an app continues to track a user without their permission, Apple may remove it from the App Store. By adding the pop-up window, Apple is making privacy control easier. Previously, users had to go to settings to block tracking in apps.
Privacy experts welcomed Apple’s efforts but warned the update may not be enough to stop all tracking on devices. App developers and advertising companies can still potentially find workarounds and new tracking methods.
Pushback From App Makers
While privacy advocates are enthusiastic about Apple’s changes, they have drawn criticism from app makers. Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL), and other app creators argue Apple’s privacy tool will harm small businesses which rely on personalized advertisements. This controversy has prompted Google to make changes to its ads systems and has led to a public feud between Facebook and Apple.
Online privacy has been a topic of heated discussion in recent years. Apple’s software update marks a big step in giving users more say about how their data is collected and shared. Lawmakers, advertisers, and tech users will be eager to see what impact Apple’s decision will have on conversations about privacy in the future.
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