Apple reminds developers of the implementation of App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14.5

Today Apple reminded the developers to update their respective apps to prepare for the launch of the App Tracking Transparency privacy feature in tvOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and iOS 14.5. This reminder came after Tim Cook’s interview with Kara Swisher that focused on privacy features that Apple wants to release.

App Tracking Transparency is a new tool that Apple is releasing with the intention to protect users’ data and prevent unwanted apps from tracking you across apps and websites. Whenever an app requires your data, it will first seek permission from the user.

Apple App Tracking Transparency iOS 14.5

App Tracking Transparency feature coming with new iOS 14.5, Apple reminds developers

The Cupertino tech giant’s latest update on the developer app notes and developer website, notes “Unless you receive permission from the user to enable tracking, the device’s advertising identifier value will be all zeroes and you may not track them.” During Cook’s interview with Kara Swisher, he mentioned that ATT is still a few weeks from releasing. Meaning, developers still have some time to update their apps and submit new versions of their apps that are according to the new ATT rules.

Make sure your apps are ready for iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5. With the upcoming public release, all apps must use the AppTrackingTransparency framework to request the user’s permission to track them or to access their device’s advertising identifier. Unless you receive permission from the user to enable tracking, the device’s advertising identifier value will be all zeros and you may not track them.

When submitting your app for review, any other form of tracking — for example, by name or email address — must be declared in the product page’s App Store Privacy Information section and be performed only if permission is granted through AppTrackingTransparency. You’ll also need to include a purpose string in the system prompt to explain why you’d like to track the user, per ‌App Store‌ Review Guideline 5.1.2(i). These requirements apply to all apps starting with the public release of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5.

As a reminder, collecting device and usage data with the intent of deriving a unique representation of a user, or fingerprinting, continues to be a violation of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement.

Apple explained that developers can not use specific device data with the hopes of fingerprinting a user to replace the IDFA, a tactic that some Chinese app developers and mobile measurement companies have already initiated. Apple even rejected many apps submitted last month from developers using an SDK from mobile measurement company Adjust that used an algorithm that could be used to keep track of users.

The exact timing and data is still not clear for the App Tracking Transparency feature, but Cook’s words in the interview were that iOS 14.5 will be coming out in “just a few weeks.” It is somewhat possible that iPadOS 14.5 and iOS 14.5 are linked with new hardware that has not yet been revealed.

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About the Author

Usman has been playing games for as long as he can remember. He is an editor at iThinkDifferent and writes about games, Apple news, hardware, productivity guides, and more. When not writing for iTD, Usman loves to play competitive Team Fortress 2, spends time honing his football skills, and watches superhero movies.