Mozilla praises Apple anti-tracking privacy features in iOS 14

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Mozilla, the organization that maintains Firefox and other open source projects, has launched a new campaign in support of a suite of privacy features that Apple is introducing in 2021.

Credit: Mozilla
Credit: Mozilla


Specifically, the internet company praised Apple's iOS 14 anti-tracking feature, which makes a specific type of advertising tracking tag opt-in on a per-app basis.

The feature revolves around a new disclosure about Identifier for Advertiser (IDFA) tags. It lets users know that a specific app "would like permission" to track users across other apps and websites, and requires users to explicitly "allow tracking" or disallow it.

"Apple's planned implementation of anti-tracking features is a huge win for consumers, many of whom might not even be aware that they can be tracked across apps on their phone," Mozilla wrote of the feature. "Now, with the option to opt-out of tracking at the point-of-use, consumers won't have to sift through their phone's settings to protect their privacy."

In addition to voicing its support for the anti-tracking feature, Mozilla is collecting virtual "signatures" from users who would like to voice their own support for Apple's privacy stance.

The Cupertino tech giant actually delayed the rollout of the feature until 2021 after companies that rely on advertising, such as Facebook and media publishers, began to push back or raise concerns about it.

Mozilla, in its campaign, said that consumers and companies need to ensure that Apple implements the feature and doesn't "kick the can down the road."

"We need a massive outpouring of support for Apple's decision to help strengthen its resolve to protect consumer privacy," the Firefox maker said.

Facebook has been one of the most vocal critics of the new iOS 14 privacy changes, claiming in one report that it could cause advertising revenue to drop at least 40% and as high as 50%. A group representing various advertising organizations and interests has also urged a "dialogue" about the feature's implementation.

Apple, at this point, doesn't appear to be changing its plans for the release. Besides delaying the rollout to give developers more time to prepare, the company seems to be on track to launch the new privacy feature in 2021.

The Cupertino tech giant in 2020 also launched another privacy feature on the App Store in "nutrition labels" that give users more information about what data apps collect and what is done with that information. That feature, already in effect, should be slowly adopted by app developers as time goes on.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    If the user's natural reaction is to deny the tracking request... then think about that.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 9
    at least someone is praising apple and not just looking to sue apple!  I have to say this is the first. I'm really admire Mozilla for supporting customers  well being and not just about their company.  thank you for looking after us as your customer and not just making the money.  
    williamlondonviclauyycolstmayStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 9
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,739member
    earthkid said:
    at least someone is praising apple and not just looking to sue apple!  I have to say this is the first. I'm really admire Mozilla for supporting customers  well being and not just about their company.  thank you for looking after us as your customer and not just making the money.  
    I have two browsers on my Mac, Safari and Firefox. I don’t need anything more.
    williamlondonviclauyycBeatsrotateleftbytetmayp-dogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,706member
    Glad to see a company who is not jealous of Apple.
    equality72521watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,421member
    If the user's natural reaction is to deny the tracking request... then think about that.
    Sorry, what's there to think about?

    Nobody EVER gave Google, FB, Twitter, and the myriad other companies permission to "stalk" us everywhere we go on the web, and they had not right to make that technology surreptitious. It was fine with me when Google just wanted to compile my search requests to make search results (and ads) more tailored to my tastes, but they (et al) crossed a huge privacy line with the web-stalking and selling my very personal information to all and sundry, including those who push propaganda or try to influence elections.

    They took it all WAY too far, and now we're taking it back. If Google can't make a living without spying on me sans my explicit permission, they do not deserve to exist.
    equality72521olsmike54StrangeDaysBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    If the user's natural reaction is to deny the tracking request... then think about that.
    ...I am, and I'm liking it. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 9
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,322member
    chasm said:
    If the user's natural reaction is to deny the tracking request... then think about that.
    Sorry, what's there to think about?

    Nobody EVER gave Google, FB, Twitter, and the myriad other companies permission to "stalk" us everywhere we go on the web, and they had not right to make that technology surreptitious. It was fine with me when Google just wanted to compile my search requests to make search results (and ads) more tailored to my tastes, but they (et al) crossed a huge privacy line with the web-stalking and selling my very personal information to all and sundry, including those who push propaganda or try to influence elections.

    They took it all WAY too far, and now we're taking it back. If Google can't make a living without spying on me sans my explicit permission, they do not deserve to exist.
    I subscribe to PED's newsletters but somehow missed one with Ben Thompson's take on this. I was a bit surprised he was not all in with Apple's plan.
    https://www.ped30.com/2020/12/08/apple-privacy-labels-ben-thompson/

    "Apple…, in the pursuit of privacy, is systematically destroying the ability of platform-driven small businesses to compete with the Internet giants…

    Apple’s means are, I should note, anticompetitive in spirit, if not in law; the company’s policies are predicated on control of the App Store, and a demonstrated willingness to use its power to get its way. That is how the company can not only disable access to the IDFA programmatically, but also demand that apps disclose what information they send to their own servers using open Internet protocols.

    Leaving aside legality, though, it is notable that Apple is quite obviously swimming against the prevailing current. That current, I would argue, is not greedy companies pushing the limits just because they can, but rather the fundamental nature of computers and the Internet. Computers emit data as a matter of course, and the Internet makes the transfer of that data free. To strive for a world without the generation or capture of data is to fight against the very nature of technology."

    edited December 2020
  • Reply 8 of 9
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,706member
    chasm said:
    If the user's natural reaction is to deny the tracking request... then think about that.
    Sorry, what's there to think about?

    Nobody EVER gave Google, FB, Twitter, and the myriad other companies permission to "stalk" us everywhere we go on the web, and they had not right to make that technology surreptitious. It was fine with me when Google just wanted to compile my search requests to make search results (and ads) more tailored to my tastes, but they (et al) crossed a huge privacy line with the web-stalking and selling my very personal information to all and sundry, including those who push propaganda or try to influence elections.

    They took it all WAY too far, and now we're taking it back. If Google can't make a living without spying on me sans my explicit permission, they do not deserve to exist.

    Tracking should be turned off by default.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    Beats said:
    chasm said:
    If the user's natural reaction is to deny the tracking request... then think about that.
    Sorry, what's there to think about?

    Nobody EVER gave Google, FB, Twitter, and the myriad other companies permission to "stalk" us everywhere we go on the web, and they had not right to make that technology surreptitious. It was fine with me when Google just wanted to compile my search requests to make search results (and ads) more tailored to my tastes, but they (et al) crossed a huge privacy line with the web-stalking and selling my very personal information to all and sundry, including those who push propaganda or try to influence elections.

    They took it all WAY too far, and now we're taking it back. If Google can't make a living without spying on me sans my explicit permission, they do not deserve to exist.

    Tracking should be turned off by default.
    That's exactly what this change/requirement does.  The app cannot track or use the identifier (OS blocks it), unless it asks for the user's permission, and the user explicitly allows it.
    watto_cobra
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