The long wait is over: After a long delay, Apple promises that tracking via opt-in will be implemented soon. All apps that do not respect this are threatened with expulsion.
Apple is responding to a user need with its opt-in solution in apps. This should soon give users more control over advertising tracking in apps. With the next beta version, iOS 14.5, the tracking opt-in originally planned for iOS 14 is to be implemented. Accordingly, apps must first ask the user for permission to access the device’s advertising ID, which can be used to implement cross-app and cross-provider tracking.
Available on app level as of iOS 14.5
With the release of the final version of iOS 14 – presumably iOS 14.5 – the privacy feature should then be available for the masses. According to Apple, the update is planned for spring 2021. The functionality is simple: each user can then decide for each app whether they want to allow tracking or not. This setting can also be adjusted again later in the app settings.
On average, up to six third-party trackers are in a single app, according to Apple. Their goal is to collect and track personal data, which is then “aggregated, shared, and monetized. Meanwhile, Apple emphasizes that despite declining tracking, apps will function fully, but app operators may require a full tracking opt-in to enable certain features.
Apple’s default causes turmoil in the advertising industry
Apple takes a two-pronged approach to its data protection function: on the one hand, access to the advertising ID in iOS, iPadOS and tvOS is technically prevented by Apple’s “App Tracking Transparency” framework, or ATT for short. At the same time, however, this is the future prescribed way for a query of the advertising ID. In addition, Apple sees app operators as having a duty to respect users’ tracking decisions. If they do not comply with the decision, Apple wants to oblige app operators to adjust their practices in the future or even kick them out of the App Store altogether.