Privacy is one of the key pillars at Apple and the company is looking to bolster the same with yet another security update in the latest iOS 14.4 beta that will force developers to ask permission to track its users for ad targeting. Also Read - iOS 15 update expected compatibility for iPhones, iPads: Will iPhone 6S see the end of life?
The upcoming feature is scheduled to go live some time in the middle of the year. Also Read - 2021 iPad Pro almost matches M1 MacBook Air in benchmark tests
Apple initially planned for the feature to go live in September last year, however, delayed the push for the security feature to give time to the developers to comply with Apple’s policy. The security feature will be made available initially for Apple beta users and there is still ambiguity around when the feature will be made available for non-beta users globally. Also Read - Flipkart Apple Days sale: iPhone 12, iPhone 11 and more iPhone models up from sale with discount
App Tracking Transparency
The new opt-in app tracking feature called App Tracking Transparency marks a significant shift in how developers will approach the whole process of their app development. This also changes the way app developers collect data of users and share with third-party platforms for ad targeting. This way, the onus does not lie on the users to constantly track which application is tracking their activity rather the app will always have to ask for the user’s permission whenever it collects their data.
Comply or you’re out
The company has said that it will not go easy on developers who are caught violating this new privacy feature. Apple says that failure to comply with the new norms will result in suspension and the removal of the app from the App Store.
Apple also says that it will dissuade app developers to not charge money of offers certain incentives to users to accept the IDFA. Any application that tried to replace the IDFA with another identifying piece of information will be in violation of the opt-in security feature.
The whole ad targeting game
App developers use something called an Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) which is linked to your device and that information is collected by several apps to target ads about a specific product. This system helps apps serve targeted ads and also helps them review the performance of that ad.
Apple’s opt-in privacy feature will make sure that developers get consent from iOS device owners for IDFA to collect data from their device to share with advertisers. As per the policy, app makers can still use some of the data for ad targeting purposes even if you don’t comply with its data-sharing policy, however, these developers cannot share that data with other companies.
Apple says that the rule applies to only iOS apps and the company already lets users disable the ad targeting feature to its users.
This move is expected to affect companies like Facebook and other companies paying for the ads. This is one of the biggest reasons that Facebook leads the line in opposing this new opt-in feature.