Apple is giving developers more time to comply with the iOS 14 anti-tracking feature. Advertising companies like Facebook, as well as news publishers, have been concerned about a potential loss in revenue when Apple empowers users to consent to be tracked. As a result, Apple is delaying the requirement until early 2021.
iOS 14 Anti-Tracking
In a statement given to The Verge, Apple said:
We believe technology should protect users’ fundamental right to privacy, and that means giving users tools to understand which apps and websites may be sharing their data with other companies for advertising or advertising measurement purposes, as well as the tools to revoke permission for this tracking.
When enabled, a system prompt will give users the ability to allow or reject that tracking on an app-by-app basis. We want to give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes, and as a result, the requirement to use this tracking permission will go into effect early next year.
The feature in question can be found in Settings > Privacy > Tracking. It’s a revamped version of the old option to turn off the device’s advertising identifier. With iOS 14, apps will have to ask permission in order to track users. When the toggle is turned off, apps can’t ask and can’t track at all. Although advertising revenue powers much of the free content available on the web, the data collection industry is a controversial part of advertising and Apple wants to limit it.
In the meantime, iOS users can use tools such as NextDNS to limit this type of invasive tracking.