App Tracking Transparency option not available for some iOS 14.5 users

Posted:
in iOS edited April 27
Users on Monday reported that Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, enabled with the release of iOS 14.5, is not functioning as intended, disallowing some from permitting app requests to track.

App Tracking Transparency


Apple on Monday released iOS 14.5 with a new feature that grants greater control over third-party ad tracking capabilities, but the functionality is not available for some users, according to accounts posted to various social media outlets.

Specifically, the "Allow Apps to Request to Track" selection in system settings is currently unavailable and cannot be manipulated. Instead of allowing users to toggle the accompanying radio button, the option is deactivated and grayed out.

Available in previous versions of iOS, "Allow Apps to Request to Track" is App Tracking Transparency's nuclear option. When deactivated, no apps can utilize a user's identification for advertisers. Users can, however, elect to permit tracking, which triggers a pop-up notification to display when first opening an app. The notices are now required under App Tracking Transparency guidelines.

It is unclear why the setting is not working for certain users, but 9to5Mac sources claim the option is off by default on devices provisioned to Apple ID accounts whose holders are under the age of 18. It is also unavailable on certain MDM profiles. Those who are experiencing the issue do not appear to fit into either category.

The publication theorizes the problem could be associated with a separate privacy setting called "Personalized Ads." Updating an iPhone to iOS 14.5 with "Personalized Ads" enabled resulted in a fully functional "Allow Apps to Request to Track" option, while doing the same with "Personalized Ads" disabled did not. It is unclear if the setting is related to the potential bug.

Those impacted by the situation will, by default, be opted out of all ad tracking.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    ITGUYINSDITGUYINSD Posts: 250member
    Mine allows me to enable it, but it doesn't matter...I haven't found an app yet that has prompted me to allow tracking.  

    14.5 is turning out to be very anti-climactic.  
    pulseimagescaladanian
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Brandon Butch has covered this on YouTube, seems signing out of iCloud and back in again enables the switch. 14.6b1 appears to fix the overall problem 
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 8
    ITGUYINSD said:
    Mine allows me to enable it, but it doesn't matter...I haven't found an app yet that has prompted me to allow tracking.  

    14.5 is turning out to be very anti-climactic.  
    That's because you have it enabled. Why would apps ask if you want them to track you if you already said you don't want to be tracked? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    I don’t understand this setting: do I have to enable it to get the prompts to then choose no, thanks?!

    If it’s turned off: do I allow all or none to track me?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 8
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,533member
    I don’t understand this setting: do I have to enable it to get the prompts to then choose no, thanks?!

    If it’s turned off: do I allow all or none to track me?
    Allow none if turned off. 

    If you click on the Learn More link under the control you’ll see the full and somewhat convoluted explanation. Apple could have done a much better job of communicating the salient points so users don’t have to wade through the wordy explanation. 
    hcrefugeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 8
    dewme said:
    I don’t understand this setting: do I have to enable it to get the prompts to then choose no, thanks?!

    If it’s turned off: do I allow all or none to track me?
    Allow none if turned off. 

    If you click on the Learn More link under the control you’ll see the full and somewhat convoluted explanation. Apple could have done a much better job of communicating the salient points so users don’t have to wade through the wordy explanation. 
    I think that’s backward. If you have it turned on then you are asked if you want to give permission. If you have it off, it doesn’t ask at all. Per the mor info text. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 8
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,533member
    igforbes said:
    dewme said:
    I don’t understand this setting: do I have to enable it to get the prompts to then choose no, thanks?!

    If it’s turned off: do I allow all or none to track me?
    Allow none if turned off. 

    If you click on the Learn More link under the control you’ll see the full and somewhat convoluted explanation. Apple could have done a much better job of communicating the salient points so users don’t have to wade through the wordy explanation. 
    I think that’s backward. If you have it turned on then you are asked if you want to give permission. If you have it off, it doesn’t ask at all. Per the mor info text. 
    If it’s off you will not be prompted at all which means you are allowing no one (None) to track you, just like I said. 

    No doubt that there’s a lot of confusion around the wording and Apple’s wordy explanation does not help. In fact, the current Privacy settings in macOS and in web browsers like Firefox work exactly the same way - if you select “don’t allow” the site/app to ask for permission it’s assumed that your answer is always No or NFW. 

    The relevant thing here, imho, is Tracking, not whether or not you want to control the Prompting related to tracking. Apple should just get to point of what people really care about from a privacy standpoint. 

    This is really something that should be run by a human factors and UX expert. Apple tried to limit the number of UI controls but by doing so they ended up with a big blob of text explanation behind the control. I personally think they could have just simply added more choices at the control level, like:

    (  ) Don’t allow anyone to track me
    (  ) Let me choose who tracks me
    (  ) Allow everyone to track me

    I’m sure a UX expert would come up with better choices. I’m not a UX expert and I’m not afraid to admit it. 
    edited April 27 hcrefugee
  • Reply 8 of 8
    ppietrappietra Posts: 247member
    dewme said:
    igforbes said:
    dewme said:
    I don’t understand this setting: do I have to enable it to get the prompts to then choose no, thanks?!

    If it’s turned off: do I allow all or none to track me?
    Allow none if turned off. 

    If you click on the Learn More link under the control you’ll see the full and somewhat convoluted explanation. Apple could have done a much better job of communicating the salient points so users don’t have to wade through the wordy explanation. 
    I think that’s backward. If you have it turned on then you are asked if you want to give permission. If you have it off, it doesn’t ask at all. Per the mor info text. 
    If it’s off you will not be prompted at all which means you are allowing no one (None) to track you, just like I said. 

    No doubt that there’s a lot of confusion around the wording and Apple’s wordy explanation does not help. In fact, the current Privacy settings in macOS and in web browsers like Firefox work exactly the same way - if you select “don’t allow” the site/app to ask for permission it’s assumed that your answer is always No or NFW. 

    The relevant thing here, imho, is Tracking, not whether or not you want to control the Prompting related to tracking. Apple should just get to point of what people really care about from a privacy standpoint. 

    This is really something that should be run by a human factors and UX expert. Apple tried to limit the number of UI controls but by doing so they ended up with a big blob of text explanation behind the control. I personally think they could have just simply added more choices at the control level, like:

    (  ) Don’t allow anyone to track me
    (  ) Let me choose who tracks me
    (  ) Allow everyone to track me

    I’m sure a UX expert would come up with better choices. I’m not a UX expert and I’m not afraid to admit it. 
    It’s a legal thing! The burden is on the apps to get express permission from the user to be tracked; it isn’t the operating system (iOS) that has the power to block or perform tracking. Without putting the burden on the apps, Apple would have little power to force developers to comply through its developer agreement.
    As such the system could never give you the option "Allow everyone to track me", since that would make the app developers responsibility less clear, and it would not follow the requirements stipulated in the developer agreement 
    the control can only be about wether Apps can ask for your permission...
    edited April 28
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