Apps will have un­til early 2021 to im­ple­ment iOS 14’s opt-in user track­ing

The ad in­dus­try is upset that it won’t be able to track users all over the In­ter­net with­out per­mis­sion. Ja­son Cross re­ports

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

With each ma­jor new re­lease of iOS, Ap­ple tight­ens the screws on apps and ser­vices that would vi­o­late users’ pri­vacy with­out their knowl­edge or per­mis­sion. With iOS 14, Ap­ple’s got a lot of new pri­vacy-minded fea­tures, and is­sued a no­tice to de­vel­op­ers on 3 Septem­ber about two of them.

When iOS 14 is re­leased, Ap­ple will re­quire de­vel­op­ers who dis­trib­ute apps in the iOS or Mac App Store to sub­mit in­for­ma­tion about all the data the app col­lects and how it is used in a host of com­mon cat­e­gories. This in­for­ma­tion will be pre­sented in a spe­cial sec­tion of each app’s App Store list­ing, so users can see what in­for­ma­tion they’re

go­ing to give up be­fore in­stalling an app. Ap­ple’s state­ment in­forms de­vel­op­ers that they will be able to sub­mit this in­for­ma­tion for their apps at the end of next month (Oc­to­ber).

This may give us a hint about when we can ex­pect iOS 14 to be re­leased to end users – likely no sooner than late Oc­to­ber.

Ap­ple has got an­other fea­ture com­ing in iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and tvOS 14 that is draw­ing some ire from the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try. It’s com­mon prac­tice to­day for in­vis­i­ble track­ing soft­ware in apps and web­sites to track where you go across the web and even from one app to an­other.

This al­lows ad­ver­tis­ers to sell highly tar­geted ads that are more valu­able. In the new op­er­at­ing sys­tems, you’ll be able to turn off such cross-site and cross-app track­ing in Set­tings, but what’s more, every app that wants to track you out­side of the app it­self will have to first is­sue a pop-up to ask your per­mis­sion.

Need­less to say, if users have to choose to be tracked all over the In­ter­net, most of them are go­ing to de­cide not to. This doesn’t mean fewer ads, but it does mean that the ads will be less per­son­ally tar­geted.

Ap­ple was go­ing to re­quire apps to is­sue this opt-in pop-up warn­ing as soon as iOS 14 is re­leased later this year. But in the up­date to de­vel­op­ers, the com­pany said it will give de­vel­op­ers a lit­tle more time to make the nec­es­sary ad­just­ments. Ap­ple is not back­ing down on its pri­vacy stance or its opt-in re­quire­ment, but it will give de­vel­op­ers un­til early 2021 to im­ple­ment the change be­fore hold­ing the in vi­o­la­tion of the App Store Re­view Guide­lines.

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