Apple anti-tracking privacy feature starting to show up in iOS 14.4 beta

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2020
Apple's anti-tracking privacy feature is starting to show up for users running the first beta version of the company's upcoming iOS 14.4 update.

Credit: AppleInsider
Credit: AppleInsider


The privacy feature makes a specific type of user tracking meant for advertisers opt-in by default. That means apps will need to explicitly ask users for permission to track them across other sites and apps.

According to users on the MacRumors forum, the permission popup box has started to appear in iOS 14.4 beta 1, which was seeded to registered developers on Dec. 16.

One user posted a screenshot of the NBA app asking to track their activity in the beta. The prompt also displays the customizable text that developers will be able to change. In the NBA app's case, it says that user data "will be used to provide [them] with a better and personalized ad experience."

Although initially planned to launch with iOS 14, Apple delayed the feature to give developers and advertisers more time to prepare. Currently, it's slated to debut in early 2021.

Based on the current beta testing timeline, it's likely that iOS 14.4 and the privacy feature could debut in January or February.

Some businesses reliant on advertising revenue have come out against the privacy feature. Most notably, Facebook earlier in December ran full-page ads calling the default opt-out option a threat to small and medium businesses.

Other groups, like Mozilla and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have voiced their support for the feature.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    This feature should be enabled on any device iOS or Android. They should have to ask us for permission and not be allow to dig around in our devices without our approval. Their tactics were wrong from the start. They need to change their business model in accordance with what we choose. Without us and our data they have no business. Be honest and open. Don’t lie to us or mislead us on the App Store labels. Respect our right to privacy. 

    Bring it on Apple. Work out the bugs and drop the update already. 
    muthuk_vanalingamsvanstromjeffharrisMacProMisterKitelijahg
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    The second option says “Ask App Not to Track”

    Facebook boardroom: “Well, yes, you can ask …”
    lkruppPetrolDavepujones1mwhitemike54kkqd1337elijahg
  • Reply 3 of 21
    fred1fred1 Posts: 828member
    This is good news. I was beginning to think that the delay was going to be a permanent one.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    It should be by law that companies must clearly ask before tracking, storing, selling, buying, or otherwise transferring, any and all data related to a person; with easy to understand labelling indicating whether or not the data will be kept for internal use only, or in any way shared. With very harsh penalties if "anonymised" data shared later on is proved, even just in theory, to be able to be de-anonymized (either on its own, or when combined with other data).
  • Reply 5 of 21
    svanstrom said:
    It should be by law that companies must clearly ask before tracking, storing, selling, buying, or otherwise transferring, any and all data related to a person; with easy to understand labelling indicating whether or not the data will be kept for internal use only, or in any way shared. With very harsh penalties if "anonymised" data shared later on is proved, even just in theory, to be able to be de-anonymized (either on its own, or when combined with other data).

    FAR More likely to sneak into some omnibus Bill the taking of our rights that the protection of them.



  • Reply 6 of 21
    This is LONG overdue!
    Ads and having to avoid or block them is incredibly irritating and time consuming.
    It’s also really creepy seeing ads for things I just looked at someplace… sometimes only seconds afterward.

    So, I make it a point to NEVER, EVER click on ads or even click on search results marked as ads.

    I don’t know if anyone has experienced this, but several times my wife and I have been having a discussion about something and ads will appear for those things almost instantly. That’s freaky!

    So, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this feature rolled out. It should have been there all along!
    MplsPJosephAUmike54
  • Reply 7 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    I have no problem with Amazon tracking what I buy from Amazon and suggesting stuff I might like, in fact, I appreciate it.  I do have a problem with Googling 'Product X' and immediately getting deluged in spam related to Product X from all corners of the Earth.
    edited December 2020 NotoriousDEVJosephAUmike54
  • Reply 8 of 21
    I can’t wait to see how many casual games share your info all over the place. Should be a hoot!
  • Reply 9 of 21
    This is LONG overdue!
    Ads and having to avoid or block them is incredibly irritating and time consuming.
    It’s also really creepy seeing ads for things I just looked at someplace… sometimes only seconds afterward.

    So, I make it a point to NEVER, EVER click on ads or even click on search results marked as ads.

    I don’t know if anyone has experienced this, but several times my wife and I have been having a discussion about something and ads will appear for those things almost instantly. That’s freaky!

    So, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this feature rolled out. It should have been there all along!
    On my Mac, I use Ghostery which blocks most Ads on my browser and prevents tracking.  I also use Duck Duck Go as the default search engine on both Mac and iPhone.  That combination seems to eliminate the tracking behavior that you are describing.
    mike54jeffharris
  • Reply 10 of 21
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,242member
    Rayz2016 said:
    The second option says “Ask App Not to Track”

    Facebook boardroom: “Well, yes, you can ask …”
    Yeah, I saw that too - does that mean you can ask the app not to track but it doesn't have to comply? Wish they had just rolled this out with 14.0 but better now than never.
    mike54
  • Reply 11 of 21
    ID0ID0 Posts: 15member
    @ jeffharris
    On my Mac, I use Ghostery which blocks most Ads on my browser and prevents tracking.  I also use Duck Duck Go as the default search engine on both Mac and iPhone.  That combination seems to eliminate the tracking behavior that you are describing.
    The mentioned feature is blocking apps to track you, what you're mentioning is internet tracking via cookies, pixels and other dirty things.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    Congrats to everyone on the team at Apple that created this. And solid leadership to roll it out despite the pathetic attempts of some (esp that one person who started his company under dubious circumstances) to gaslight us into objecting. 
  • Reply 13 of 21
    ID0 said:
    @ jeffharris
    On my Mac, I use Ghostery which blocks most Ads on my browser and prevents tracking.  I also use Duck Duck Go as the default search engine on both Mac and iPhone.  That combination seems to eliminate the tracking behavior that you are describing.
    The mentioned feature is blocking apps to track you, what you're mentioning is internet tracking via cookies, pixels and other dirty things.
    https://lockdownprivacy.com/
  • Reply 14 of 21
    mike54mike54 Posts: 465member
    I might of missed something in previous articles but "Ask app not to track" is just not firm enough. What is this business of "asking" ?
    I mean I can ask Apple to lower the price the of the AirPods Max to the cows come home, but its ain't going to do anything.
    Shouldn't it be "Deny app to track" ?
    I'm quite sure that 'ask' doesn't mean the same as 'deny'.
    edited December 2020 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 21
    mike54 said:
    I might of missed something in previous articles but "Ask app not to track" is just not firm enough. What is this business of "asking" ?
    I mean I can ask Apple to lower the price the of the AirPods Max to the cows come home, but its ain't going to do anything.
    Shouldn't it be "Deny app to track" ?
    I'm quite sure that 'ask' doesn't mean the same as 'deny'.
    As soon as someone figures out how it's technically possible to client-side prevent all forms of tracking I'm sure Apple can start using that language without getting sued. :)

    In theory… yes, it is possible to prevent all forms of tracking.

    In practice… no, it is not possible to prevent all forms of tracking.

    The difference between theory and practice comes down to the parameters. A nerd like me could easily do a lot to prevent tracking, especially if I short-term want to stay anonymous for a particular purpose; but once you scale up to include living a normal modern lifestyle, and millions of users, things start to get really really really complicated. Especially since a lot of tracking and coordination of our data happens server-side; so once you identify yourself somewhere, a lot of tracking can start to happen even if your device technically, by itself, doesn't reveal anything trackable.
    edited December 2020
  • Reply 16 of 21
    ID0ID0 Posts: 15member
    svanstrom said:
    ID0 said:
    @ jeffharris
    On my Mac, I use Ghostery which blocks most Ads on my browser and prevents tracking.  I also use Duck Duck Go as the default search engine on both Mac and iPhone.  That combination seems to eliminate the tracking behavior that you are describing.
    The mentioned feature is blocking apps to track you, what you're mentioning is internet tracking via cookies, pixels and other dirty things.
    https://lockdownprivacy.com/

    This app is not the same what Apple is preparing. LockDownPrivacy is a combination of VPN and add blocker.
    They say that nothing leaves your device, but the logs can be / are stored on their server and it is expensive.

    You can achieve the same with any VPN provider which don't store logs (for example Azirevpn) and BetterBlocker / KA-Block.


    edited December 2020
  • Reply 17 of 21
    ID0 said:
    svanstrom said:
    ID0 said:
    @ jeffharris
    On my Mac, I use Ghostery which blocks most Ads on my browser and prevents tracking.  I also use Duck Duck Go as the default search engine on both Mac and iPhone.  That combination seems to eliminate the tracking behavior that you are describing.
    The mentioned feature is blocking apps to track you, what you're mentioning is internet tracking via cookies, pixels and other dirty things.
    https://lockdownprivacy.com/
    This app is not the same what Apple is preparing. LockDownPrivacy is a combination of VPN and add blocker.
    They say that nothing leaves your device, but the logs can be / are stored on their server and it is expensive.

    You can achieve the same with any VPN provider which don't store logs (for example Azirevpn) and BetterBlocker / KA-Block.
    1. Get your quoting right. Clearly you can tell by looking at your own posts that something is wrong with them? (Yes, I know, the AI system for quote really sucks; but it's not that hard to spot when a post of your own is wrong.)

    2. You don't seem to understand a thing about LockDownPrivacy. Their invasive tracking-blocker doesn't send any data through their servers (so there's nothing to log), it also blocks trackers from within apps on your phone (so not just a content blocker for the web browser); and it is completely free.
    edited December 2020
  • Reply 18 of 21
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,314member
    Something that irks me is not Apple or Facebook related, but AppleInsider related. They regularly publish details about companies slating Facebook and similar for nonconsensual tracking, and yet AI has 24 nonconsensual trackers blocked by Safari. In fact they don't comply with GDPR, which is breaking the law, as they have no cookie popup unlike pretty much every other Apple-centric site. Why not, AI? Also, how long until this comment gets disappeared? 

    edited December 2020 svanstromRayz2016
  • Reply 19 of 21
    elijahg said:
    Something that irks me is not Apple or Facebook related, but AppleInsider related. They regularly publish details about companies slating Facebook and similar for nonconsensual tracking, and yet AI has 24 nonconsensual trackers blocked by Safari. In fact they don't comply with GDPR, which is breaking the law, as they have no cookie popup unlike pretty much every other Apple-centric site. Why not, AI? Also, how long until this comment gets disappeared? 

    Took a while to disable all my blockers and VPN; but at the main AI page the number of trackers blocked by Safari did start to go up to double digits. And no popup about GDPR, CCPA, or any of the other gazillion different laws that basically say that users must consent to cookies.

    There is the https://appleinsider.com/privacy-page, of course; but that's mostly just the old "by reading this you've already consented"-approach to legalese.

    So, yeah, confirmed that there's a bunch of cookies/trackers.
    elijahg
  • Reply 20 of 21
    ID0ID0 Posts: 15member
    Americans don't care about GDPR, but they would after the big ones will get 10 figure fines. Believe me!
    spheric
Sign In or Register to comment.