January 28 is Data Privacy Day. Apple used the opportunity to reiterate its commitment to privacy and announced that a new App Tracking Transparency tool will be part of its next Beta release.  It released a report called ‘A Day in the Life of Your Data’ to illustrate how personal data is used, and what tools it provides to stop tracking.

New App Tracking Transparancy Tool Arriving in Next Beta

Marking Data Privacy Data, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, said:

Privacy means peace of mind, it means security, and it means you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your own data. Our goal is to create technology that keeps people’s information safe and protected. We believe privacy is a fundamental human right, and our teams work every day to embed it in everything we make.

Of course, Apple used the opportunity to reiterate its on privacy credentials and the tools is gives users. This includes the news privacy information section on App Store product pages, as well as things like Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari. Furthermore, it announced that the next Beta update will bring with it App Tracking Transparency. This will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies. Apple said the feature will roll out to users in early springs across iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14.

Support for New App Tracking Transparency Tool Arriving

Apple also cited support from privacy advocates for its forthcoming product. Jeff Chester, Center for Digital Democracy said:

Apple’s new data privacy tools ensure that people have greater control over their personal information. Data brokers and online advertisers will now have to act more responsibly when dealing with consumers who use third party applications on Apple devices

Michelle Richardson, Center for Democracy and Technology said:

Too often, consumers are unknowing participants in a web of data tracking and targeting. These changes will help rebalance the ecosystem so that data collection and sharing is more transparent and tracking is no longer the default. Systemic change of this breadth is a huge leap forward for consumers.

Tristan Harris, Center for Humane Technology said:

Today’s Apple announcement moves the ecosystem further away from the malicious effects of secretive profiling and microtargeting that enable many of the problems outlined in The Social Dilemma.

Data Privacy Day, And How Your Data Can be Used

The ‘A Day in the Life of Your Data’ report is written in plain language, and starkly outlines how doing day-to-day things can expose your data. Apple claims that on average an app will containing six trackers from other companies, designed to collect and track personal information. All this data has fuelled as $227 billion industry, according to the company.

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