Apps face App Store expulsion by not complying with new ad-tracking rules

in iOS edited December 2020
Apps that fail to "play by the rules" of Apple's anti-ad tracking policy will be removed from the App Store, executive Craig Federighi has warned to developers who attempt to circumvent iOS 14's inbound privacy feature.

In September, Apple advised of its intention to implement a new ad-tracking mechanism in iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14 that will launch in early 2021. The feature is designed to minimize the amount of tracking of a user in-app advertisers can perform, as part of a wider crackdown to improve the privacy protection of its customers.

Speaking to The Telegraph, developers who choose to ignore the new rules will be kicked out of the App Store, according to Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi. All apps will be expected to abide by the App Tracking Transparency rules.

"There will be policy enforcement," said Federighi. "Any form or mechanism of tracking a user for advertising or for providing information to data brokers will have to ask for permissions. Failure to do so is a violation of App Store policy... and are grounds for having an app removed."

Developers are already required to answer a series of privacy-related questions in App Store Connect, as well as to disclose any times the app may collect specific types of data about the user, and how it will be used. This includes any tracking performed by third-party partners, such as external advertisers.

Critics of the initiative, such as Facebook, believe its implementation would cut into advertising revenue, making it harder for developers to earn a living.

Federighi also spoke at the European Data Protection and Privacy Conference, suggesting "We expect that the industry will adapt as it did before - providing effective advertising, but this time without invasive tracking." He also believed opponents were doing "everything they can" to halt the feature from being implemented, in a "brazen attempt to maintain the privacy status quo."

The executive also expects advertisers and social media companies to abide by the changes. "The largest players understand they have to play by the rules here," he offered, continuing "I expect while there is spirited debate, they are going to work to find a solution."


  • Reply 1 of 7
    You have to give it up to Apple leadership. Most companies facing the scrutiny currently over Apple would have rolled up and shown their belly. But Apple is pushing through.

    That is not hard to rationalize: we are the customers, that keep Apple afloat, and we want tracking to stop—mostly because it has proved useless in providing any meaningful advertising, in my experience.

    We supplied Apple its deep pockets that allow them to flip the bird to other billion dollar companies that want a free ride in our backs, our data plans, and our battery lives.

    Most consumers are unaware of how data heavy and power consuming ad tracking is. In the web, research has shown that up to 90% of downloaded data is just JavaScript, mostly dedicated to tracking you, at a significant impact to battery life!
  • Reply 2 of 7
    How dare Apple use their monopoly power to force me to reveal how I'm spying on my users!  This is a clear violation of my rights!  I'm going to sue!

  • Reply 3 of 7
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,069member
    As an app-developer myself, I'm happy that Apple is taking this stance.  App developers believe they are the reason for Apple's success with their iPhone.  They're about 10% right.  The other 90% is Apple believing that the customers that purchased their products and pay for its services are more important that some app wanting to violate their privacy and track them.  

    Kudos for Apple.  I hope this rids the App store of all the festering apps.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,396member
    They should start reinforcing them to not ask for email address. Ever. 
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Goodbye Facebook. Goodbye Google.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,941member
    Goodbye Facebook. Goodbye Google.
    Google is OK with it. You apparently missed the story AI posted a few weeks ago. 

    You're right tho that Facebook has been vocal critic.
    edited December 2020
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