Apple’s Tracking Transparency Tool: What Happens Outside The App Stays Outside The App

Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency feature lets iPhone users keep app-makers from tracking what they do when they leave their apps. Advertisers aren’t happy.

By Shelly BrisbinApril 29, 2021 7:15 am,

This week, Apple rolled out a new iPhone feature the company says is designed to protect consumer privacy. App Tracking Transparency, or ATT, forces apps to get users’ permission before tracking their activity outside the app. Many privacy advocates praise the feature, and consumers are expected to embrace it. But some advertisers and app developers say it could destroy businesses that make money by selling ads based on data apps collect about their users.

Tech expert Omar Gallaga told Texas Standard that many apps track what people do on their phones, and create ads that match what users’ activities tell them about their habits and interests. App Tracking Transparency allows users to opt out of that tracking, which, in turn, gives companies that sell ads less information about who’s likely to see them.

An iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch that has been updated to iOS 14.5 – the latest version of Apple’s software – is required to use App Tracking Transparency.

Highlights from this segment:

– When you encounter an app that wants to track activity on your phone, a pop-up message will ask your permission to do the tracking.

– Facebook says that it and the small businesses who advertise on its platform will be hurt by ATT because their ability to generate income depends on being able to track users’ activity.

– Apple delayed implementation of ATT after it was announced last fall, to give app developers time to adjust to the limitations on tracking.

– You can update your iPhone’s settings to tell all apps that you don’t wish to be tracked, rather than responding to individual requests.

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