Facebook's iOS 14.5 privacy prompt will take weeks to roll out

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 1
Facebook on Monday confirmed it will hew to Apple's new App Tracking Transparency rules by showing a permission prompt when its iOS app is first opened, though the company expects the feature rollout will take weeks.

Facebook ATT


The social network began to display the prompt, which asks users permission to track their movements beyond the Facebook app, to select users on Monday, but some won't see the message for weeks, the company said in a statement to CNET.

"We'll start rolling out the prompt to iOS 14.5 users today, but we will roll out the prompt over the course of a few weeks, so not all eligible users will see the prompt right away," a Facebook spokesperson said. "We're ramping this rollout globally to ensure everything works as expected."

The company noted some users have already seen the prompt, but declined to offer exact figures, the report said.

According to a screenshot of the notification provided by Facebook, users will be informed that iOS 14.5 requires developers to ask permission before tracking user data. The company notes collected data is used to display personalized ads, keep Facebook free of charge and support businesses that rely on ad revenue.

Facebook has waged a public war with Apple over App Tracking Transparency for months, claiming its institution will deal a major blow to the bottom lines of ad tech companies and stymie growth for small businesses.

Released today with iOS 14.5, ATT offers more granular control over app privacy by requiring developers to gain permission before tracking a user's device advertising identifier, or Identifier for Advertiser (IDFA) tag. Users are automatically opted out of tracking by default, though they can permit services on a case-by-case basis through the aforementioned dialogue box or system settings.

Many users are expected to opt for more privacy, leaving ad companies in search of new targeting technologies. In Facebook's case, the anti-tracking feature will block insight into a key metrics including view-through conversions, a technology that enables ad firms to measure the number of users who purchase goods after viewing, but not interacting with, an ad.

More recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in March said ATT could inadvertently drive more traffic to the social giant's various platforms.

"It's possible that we may even be in a stronger position if Apple's changes encourage more businesses to conduct more commerce on our platforms by making it harder for them to use their data in order to find the customers that would want to use their products outside of our platforms," Zuckerberg said at the time.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    ppietrappietra Posts: 271member
    This sounds weird... it looks like Facebook can remotely activate the prompt. It also makes me think that they will probably be testing people’s responses... guinea pigs. 
    Nothing they do can be trusted.

    ivanhaderutterBeatsjahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    It is Facebook which have to roll out the question??? I thought the question about ATT would come from iOS. 

    Edit: found the answer in the other article  “How to stop apps from tracking you in iOS 14.5”
    edited April 27 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    ivanhivanh Posts: 591member
    I have deleted the FB app, and you?
    williamlondonikirBeatsjahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Then disable FB until their app can meet the requirements of 14.5. They have had enough time to prepare as their media propaganda would suggest! 
    pulseimagesBeatsjahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 912member
    Bullshit. How long have they known about this? It reminds me of how Adobe dragged their feet when converting their apps to 64. Somebody fire zuckerberg already. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    AppleishAppleish Posts: 371member
    Relax. They have to run their code past their handlers in Moscow. Once they have the workaround for data collection in place, they can rollout the update. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,592member
    Hopefully it's faster than their dark mode rollout, which is still MIA on my iPad.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,830member
    The manner in which Apple is rolling out this ATT feature is very weird. I can't tell whether Apple is being a total wuss because they don't want to offend the tracking-meisters or whatever, but all this focus on "Asking for permission" kind of pisses me off. The way it's being shown in Apple's UI and the excessive verbiage behind it almost seems like Apple is trying to intentionally confuse users or avoid confrontation with the trackers.

    F the "permission" or "request" crapola, just give me a switch that says "I don't want anyone tracking me" and then Apple does whatever it takes in their OS to either block all tracking attempts or to detect who is violating my "Do not track" edict so they can be punished. End of story. With this switch ON I don't care when Facebook or anyone else decides to ask my permission because I've already said "no," and don't bother asking me at all. 

    Sure, I have no problem also giving users two other alternatives, "Let me decide which apps can track me" and "Let all apps track me" for people who are into that kind of thing. Party on, tracked people. This whole "permission" thing looks exactly like Apple kowtowing to the trackers by giving them a forum to try to 'splain' to their customers WHY they should allow the app to track them and collect personal information. But for those of us who don't even want to hear their lame song & dance, once I flip the "I don't want anyone tracking me" I want Apple to take down that stage because I am not going to attend any of those shows.

    Okay, now that I've said how I really feel ... the truth is that Apple kind of gives those of us who want to annihilate tracking (to the extent that is possible) a way to achieve this. The problem is that they hide it behind mealy mouth doublespeak by in the form of the "Allow Apps to Request to Track" switch. Flipping that switch to OFF basically says "I don't want anyone tracking me" and "by the way, don't bother asking." For people who want to kill tracking, asking for permission, or flipping a switch that allows apps to ask for permission is totally beside the point. This kind of switch makes it sound like you have to wait for a Facebook to ask before you can then tell them to go pound sand, when in reality you can send them packing and pounding sand - today. 

    So the real question has nothing to do with when Facebook will ask for permission. The real question is when Facebook will start to honor the tracking prohibitions that I put in place TODAY. Not trying to pick on Facebook, just trying to frame this up in the proper context, i.e., that we should not be waiting for those who track us to stop doing so. They should be on our timetable, not the other way around. The clock is ticking...
    edited April 27 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 14
    dewme said:
    The manner in which Apple is rolling out this ATT feature is very weird. I can't tell whether Apple is being a total wuss because they don't want to offend the tracking-meisters or whatever, but all this focus on "Asking for permission" kind of pisses me off. The way it's being shown in Apple's UI and the excessive verbiage behind it almost seems like Apple is trying to intentionally confuse users or avoid confrontation with the trackers.

    F the "permission" or "request" crapola, just give me a switch that says "I don't want anyone tracking me" and then Apple does whatever it takes in their OS to either block all tracking attempts or to detect who is violating my "Do not track" edict so they can be punished. End of story. With this switch ON I don't care when Facebook or anyone else decides to ask my permission because I've already said "no," and don't bother asking me at all. 

    Sure, I have no problem also giving users two other alternatives, "Let me decide which apps can track me" and "Let all apps track me" for people who are into that kind of thing. Party on, tracked people. This whole "permission" thing looks exactly like Apple kowtowing to the trackers by giving them a forum to try to 'splain' to their customers WHY they should allow the app to track them and collect personal information. But for those of us who don't even want to hear their lame song & dance, once I flip the "I don't want anyone tracking me" I want Apple to take down that stage because I am not going to attend any of those shows.

    Okay, now that I've said how I really feel ... the truth is that Apple kind of gives those of us who want to annihilate tracking (to the extent that is possible) a way to achieve this. The problem is that they hide it behind mealy mouth doublespeak by in the form of the "Allow Apps to Request to Track" switch. Flipping that switch to OFF basically says "I don't want anyone tracking me" and "by the way, don't bother asking." For people who want to kill tracking, asking for permission, or flipping a switch that allows apps to ask for permission is totally beside the point. This kind of switch makes it sound like you have to wait for a Facebook to ask before you can tell them to go pound sand, when in reality you can send them packing and pounding sand today. 

    So the real question has nothing to do with when Facebook will ask for permission. The real question is when Facebook will start to honor the tracking prohibitions that I put in place TODAY. Not trying to pick on Facebook, just trying to frame this up in the proper context, i.e., that we should not be waiting for those who track us to stop doing so. They should be on our timetable, not the other way around. The clock is ticking...
    I thought that, and hope, as of now, they must ask to track in order to track. If they do not ask, because not ready or whatever, then they cannot track.  So the default is off, and if they want to stand any chance, they must ask.

    As for being a wuss with the language, I think Apple are trying to block unwanted tracking, know they cannot do it with complete reliability, and are not willing to assume legal liability for any failures on their part whilst trying to do something good. If Apple said 'block tracking', someone will sue anytime they fail. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 583member
    As for being a wuss with the language, I think Apple are trying to block unwanted tracking, know they cannot do it with complete reliability, and are not willing to assume legal liability for any failures on their part whilst trying to do something good. If Apple said 'block tracking', someone will sue anytime they fail. 
    Apple has already confirmed that this is exactly the reason.  But it isn't regarding their "failures" to block tracking...it's because they can't control companies from not trying to use nefarious means to track you.
    jahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 836member
    Okay. The Do Not Track option appears on my iPhone and iPads. 

    But, I see nothing similar on my MacOS devices. Am I missing something or is privacy control non-existent on our desktops and laptop?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 14
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,696member
    ppietra said:
    This sounds weird... it looks like Facebook can remotely activate the prompt. It also makes me think that they will probably be testing people’s responses... guinea pigs. 
    Nothing they do can be trusted.

    Facebook has always done heavy A/B testing in their feature rollouts, this is nothing new. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 14
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,830member
    igorsky said:
    As for being a wuss with the language, I think Apple are trying to block unwanted tracking, know they cannot do it with complete reliability, and are not willing to assume legal liability for any failures on their part whilst trying to do something good. If Apple said 'block tracking', someone will sue anytime they fail. 
    Apple has already confirmed that this is exactly the reason.  But it isn't regarding their "failures" to block tracking...it's because they can't control companies from not trying to use nefarious means to track you.
    Yeah, I understand that Apple is walking a fine line between trying to appear to their customers that they’re trying to take the high road with respect to privacy while knowing very well that they don’t have total control over the situation. At some level the ATT feature is really a “Please Be Nice” request to app makers who want to track Apple’s customers. 

    I will say however that if transparency is the operative term and if Apple is in a position to detect violations to their “privacy request” that can get said apps banned I fully expect Apple to rat out the violators by name so we, users, can impose our own penalties on the abusers, i.e., delete the violator's app from our Apple devices.

    I'm not trying to put the complete burden on Apple. I still believe that Apple is being portrayed as the Bad Guy and bully in the media outlets (it’s playing out on nightly news right now in fact) as if Apple actually has the power to stop privacy violators. But we know this is not the case at all. All Apple is really doing is asking companies like Facebook to be honest with their users and come clean about what personal information they are collecting from their users.

    Facebook is crying as if they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar … because they did get caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

    Would I prefer that the so called “kill switch” were actually a kill switch? Hell yeah. And I do want Apple to keep pushing for such a solution.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 14
    GabyGaby Posts: 176member
    What I don’t understand is, Apple mandated that all apps must comply by April 26. So for one, why have Facebook, et al, not been pulled from the AppStore until they comply with the rules? I also agree with other commenters that it seems odd that the prompt is not system level but in fact appears currently to be activated by developers. 

    The other thing that baffles me is that here in the U.K I have not had a single app request to track me. I’ve even tried as an example to delete Instagram etc and reinstall and there is still no prompt. I’ve also altered advertising settings etc to see if it makes a difference and zilch. 

    It would be nice to get an update from Apple explaining exactly what is happening and how, and Informing whether even if we’re not seeing a prompt, that we’ve automatically been defaulted to do not track (as suggested initially) or not. 
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