It’s no secret that almost everyone App At the end of the day, users have the option of tracking their data in one form or another on their smartphone. It’s good business for apps, but not so much for users – those who care about privacy. Already in June 2020 at its annual developer conference Apple announced iOS 14, mentioning a feature that had the potential to completely shift the performance dynamics for users and apps. This feature – called App Tracking Transparency – is now available.
Let’s call it controversial – which is it – but Apple hasn’t backed off after criticism, big ads (here you see Facebook), and trying to get Apple out there to harm small businesses, either. The feature was designed to give, according to Apple iPhone users the power to control which app they can conveniently track their data. Here we decipher what the function is about and why the fuss about it
What is app tracking transparency and how does it improve user privacy?
Simply put, the feature gives you more control iPhone Users whether or not they want to be tracked across apps by advertisers online. As Apple likes to tell us, privacy is a fundamental human right and it is the user, not the developer, who should decide what data to receive or share. This feature allows users to share or not share data with any app.
How does app tracking transparency work?
The ATT (App Tracking Transparency) feature makes it mandatory for apps to prompt users to give them permission to track them across other apps and websites.
How does App Tracking Transparency help users?
It helps users to have full power and control over their data. If a user denies this permission, the app must stop tracking that user and share their data.
If a user asks an app not to track its data, Apple will disable the use of an Apple device ID for the app. This identifier is nothing more than a combination of letters and numbers assigned to each iPhone and used to track activity across apps and websites.
Why do app developers – essentially Facebook – have an issue with app tracking transparency?
Many apps, including Facebook, use IDFA, or better known as Identifiers for Advertisers. As the name suggests, it’s a tool that allows you and your phone to be tracked across apps, services, and websites. IDFA uses random identifiers to deliver tailored advertising. Do you remember looking for a crazy item on your cell phone on the internet? And five minutes later, you are suddenly inundated with ads for those articles. That is exactly what IDFA does.
Facebook and many others rely on this data as it is part of their business model and it’s no surprise why they oppose it. To be fair to Facebook, the biggest argument is that IDFA helps it measure ad campaign performance. Many small developers rely on these ads as a source of income, and the ATT feature harms them. Many iPhone users may not choose to allow apps to track them, and this hurts app developers and therefore their problem with it.
Why were some apps on board with this feature?
Unlike Facebook, in the past, Snapchat has shown Apple support for the app tracking transparency feature. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said that while it could create a minor disruption for advertisers in the short term, “generally sees this as a good thing for consumers overall”
What happens to apps that don’t accept Apple’s new feature?
In the past, Apple has made it clear which apps do not comply with the new data protection regulations. Apps are at risk of being removed from the App Store, according to Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software development. This is the only way to install software on an iPhone.
Why has Apple not broken with its stance?
One word: privacy. Facebook and Apple openly criticized each other on this topic at their booth. At one point, Facebook ran full-page newspaper ads, published a blog post, and created a website detailing how Apple plans to harm millions of app developers. “We stand up for small businesses against Apple everywhere,” it says in one part of the ad.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, responded by saying, “We believe that users should have a choice about what data is collected about them and how it is used. Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before. For app tracking transparency in iOS 14, all you have to do is ask for your permission first. ”