Apple delays important ads targeting protection to buy time
As originally reported by The Information and later confirmed by Cupertino, Apple has told some developers it will delay the enforcement of a new limitation on ads tracking within iOS 14 in order to give them time to make the changes they need.
We all need a little time
Apple promised to let users opt out of ad tracking in iOS 14 when it introduced the OS at WWDC 2020. The idea is to continue to secure user privacy against increasingly invasive ads tracking technologies.
How it works: Developers will be required to ask users for permission to share their unique device identifier (used in such tracking). It’s increasingly likely most of us will refuse to do so, despite how deeply others want that data.
Ads firms complained, of course, but it’s not their interests Apple was trying to serve when taking this step. Now, as reported by The Information, Apple intends delaying this new era of privacy protection to give ads developers a chance to come up with some other way to track ad performance.
Apple puts it this way:
“At Apple, we believe that privacy is a fundamental human right. As announced at WWDC20, App Store product pages will feature a new privacy information section to help users understand an app’s privacy practices.”
“In addition, on iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14, apps will be required to receive user permission to track users across apps or websites owned by other companies, or to access the device’s advertising identifier. We are committed to ensuring users can choose whether or not they allow an app to track them. To give developers time to make necessary changes, apps will be required to obtain permission to track users starting early next year. More information, including an update to the App Store Review Guidelines, will follow this fall.”
The move follows complaints from many ads firms, including Facebook which has agreed to suspend political ads for a whole week before the U.S. election in light of how its service has been weaponized in previous plebiscities.
In related news, Apple has also published new details concerning the App Privacy labelling system it will soon introduce:
“Later this year, the App Store will help users understand an app’s privacy practices before they download the app on any Apple platform. On each app’s product page, users can learn about some of the data types the app may collect, and whether that data is linked to them or used to track them. You’ll need to provide information about your app’s privacy practices, including the practices of third-party partners whose code you integrate into your app, in App Store Connect starting this fall.”
Finally, the company published an interesting and funny privacy-related ad around the same time.