As a privacy measure, Apple will require developers of iPhone and iPad apps to request permission from users to track their activity on other apps and websites for personal advertising purposes starting early next year.
Ahead of time, a signal to allow or deny users tracking has started appearing in the first beta of iOS 14.4, which has sowed seeds in the past week. A screenshot shared in the MacRumors forum requests the NBA app to track user activity, with a customizable print print indicating that the data will be used to provide users “with a better and personalized advertising experience.”
IOS 14.4 should be released publicly in January or February, with Apple’s “early next year” deadline for this change. Apple originally planned to start the prompt in September, but delayed providing more time for developers to prepare.
Last week, Facebook claimed that Apple’s new requirement would harm small businesses, saying the move was “more about profit than privacy.” In a full-page newspaper advertisement, Facebook said Apple’s move would force small businesses to turn over subscriptions and other in-app payments for revenue, in turn benefiting Apple’s bottom line.
“They are hurting small businesses and publishers, which are already struggling in an epidemic,” Facebook said in a blog post. “These changes will directly affect their ability to use their advertising budgets efficiently and effectively.”
In response to Facebook, Apple stated that users deserve control and transparency. “We believe this is a simple matter of standing up for our users,” Apple said, “Users should know when their data is being collected and shared on other applications and websites – And whether or not they should have the option to allow it. “
Earlier this week, the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) campaigned against Apple “washing up with laughter” and praised Apple for its “pro-privacy” change.
“When a company does the right thing for its users, the EFF will stand by it, the way we strictly clamp down on companies doing the wrong thing,” EFF said. “Here, Apple is right and Facebook is wrong.”
Update: Tracking prompts have also appeared in some apps on previous versions of iOS 14, rather inconsistently.