iOS 14’s ‘Ask Permission’ privacy feature will switch IDFA tracking to opt-in

iOS 14 is the latest iPhone software which has many new and innovative features and most important of all, it has many new privacy updates. To prevent apps and websites from tracking user data, Apple has released a new “Ask Permission” privacy feature which stops IDFA from tracking users without their knowledge and consent.

IDFA, Identifier for Advertisers, is a random device tracking tag assigned to devices by Apple. Introduced in iOS 13, IDFA gives advertisers access to users aggregate data without revealing their personal information. The IDFA functionality is described as following:

“The aggregated data can then be used to discover information such as which in-app events a user triggers. The IDFA can also identify when users interact with a mobile advertising campaign, provided the channel offers IDFA tracking and the advertiser tracks users who interact with as successfully. If this occurs, the IDFA can identify whether specific users click an advert for payment and attribution purposes.”

Although, users personal information is not revealed, it is still a concern for some user who do not wish to be tracked for targeted ads and consider this as invasion of their privacy. Thus, as a tech industry’s users’ data protection pioneer, Apple has made it more difficult for advertisers to track user via IDFA tags.

Ask Permission Feature

In iOS 14, released at the WWDC event on June 22, Cupertino HQ has given control to users to decide who can track their data via this ‘Ask Permission’ feature. After installation of an app, a ┬ápop-up will appear on the screen seeking their permission if they wish to “Allow Tracking” or “Ask App Not To Track”. The permission pop-up reads:

*App’s name would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies. You data will be used to deliver personalized Ads to you.

iOS 14 New Privacy Features

Besides Ask Permission, there are other new privacy features in iOS 14 which require the developers to be more transparent, give users more control and protects their data. The privacy updates are as following:

  • Convert existing accounts to Sign-in with Apple
  • Share proximate location instead of precise location
  • Visible alert when mic and camera are used by apps
  • Developers to self report data collection

Since the release of iOS 14 developers beta on June 22, new discoveries are made almost every single day. It is found that users will be notified when apps paste users information copied on Clipboard and Apple has also restricted apps’ access to all of users content in Photos Library.

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