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With Apple now enforcing its App Tracking Transparency rules with the release of iOS 14.5, The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern did an interview with Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi to talk about Apple's aim with the feature and how it works.


For those unfamiliar with App Tracking Transparency, it requires app developers to get express user permission before accessing a user's advertising identifier for ad tracking purposes.

According to Federighi, Apple wanted users to have a choice over when and how they're tracked and how their data is used.
"These devices are so intimately a part of our lives and contain so much of what we're thinking and where we've been and who we've been with that users deserve and need control of that information." He added, "The abuses can range from creepy to dangerous."
Stern also spoke to Facebook's vice president of Ads & Business Product Marketing, who said that people would opt out of ads "without understanding the impact" because of Apple's lack of explanation. He said Facebook is concerned people will opt out because of the prompt, leading to an internet with "more paywalls" and where small businesses are unable to reach their customers.

Facebook has been in a sustained campaign against the App Tracking Transparency changes in iOS 14.5, claiming that Apple is anti-small business and going as far as taking out newspaper ads. Federighi said that Apple was not surprised there was pushback from companies like Facebook, but was "confident it's the right thing." He says the delay in implementation (it was originally slated to be enforced months earlier) was not because of backlash but because Apple wanted to give developers time to adjust to the changes.

When a user declines to allow an app to access the IFDA of the iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, app developers are also prevented from using other means to create a profile of a user with device data and usage habits. App developers found trying to use covert tracking methods will violate Apple's rules. Federighi said that developers who don't follow the guidelines "might not be able to provide updates or their apps could even be removed from the store."

Users can turn off tracking all together in the Privacy section of the Settings app under "Tracking," or let apps ask on an app by app basis.
Business owners and ad industry executives told Stern that people should allow tracking to enable relevant ads that pertain to them, to support small businesses, and to keep the internet free. Users who allow apps to ask about tracking will see popups explaining why users should grant permission.

app-tracking-transparency.jpg

During the beta testing period, metrics gathered by AppsFlyer found a 26 percent opt-in rate per app across close to 550 apps, so some users may still opt to use tracking for their favorite brands.

Article Link: Apple's Craig Federighi on App Tracking Transparency: 'Users Deserve and Need Control' of Data
 
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iStorm

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2012
457
585
Well this was turned off by default.. This will go over like a lead balloon. I had planned to turn it off anyways.
Are you sure you didn't turn it off earlier? This isn't exactly a new thing. Settings->Privacy->Tracking has been available since iOS 14.0. iOS 14.5 is just adding transparency and enforcing the apps to show the prompt now.
 
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EmotionalSnow

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2019
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Linz, Austria
“...users deserve and need control of that information...”

I wonder when they’re going to get around to giving us end-to-end encryption of our iCloud backups?

Probably never. They don’t want customers to have to deal with the experience of losing access to their most important files because they misplaced the password.

It sucks but I can somewhat understand their perspective.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
1,705
2,896
Oh man this is so nice. Nice interview by Craig. Gotta say, thank god for Apple otherwise the rest of the industry (as in everyone) is all in on the user is the product.

“...users deserve and need control of that information...”

I wonder when they’re going to get around to giving us end-to-end encryption of our iCloud backups?


I do wonder about this. If they E2E encrypt it, its almost certain the govt will go full on to get a court judgement to mandate a back door (anywhere and in anything they want).

Given that going to court for this is almost a certainty and its a tossup as to what would happen in the courts (not to mention the general atmosphere against big tech right now), I think I'd rather take back up local (encrypted) by Apple's local alternative there and keep things like they are for now. As opposed to risking everything just to get iCloud end to end. JMHO
 
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Gabebear

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2018
77
146
My GF was talking to me on the phone last week about how to play the lottery. I've never done it before, never googled it etc.

What does Facebook greet me with? ads for the Lottery.

Apple, good job.
This update should actually mostly fix your issue for new accounts(you’ve already given away enough info on your current accounts that you will have to nuke them from orbit). More than likely you and your girlfriend’s account are marked as related(do you often use the same private WiFi?) and she searched for lottery. If you block tracking the advertisers won’t know that only a few people use the IP address for your WiFi and they also can’t associate your logins on other devices that aren’t even on your WiFi.
 

Cosmosent

macrumors 68020
Apr 20, 2016
2,315
2,691
La Jolla, CA
What about App Discovery ?

There, Apple's Upper Mgmt has a Complete & Total Stranglehold (on App Discovery) !

More specifically, why is Tim Cook so afraid of third-party App Engineering Accomplishments ?

Apple has both a Duty & a Responsibility to present the best apps to Users.

Should NOT be filtered by Apple's Upper Mgmt simply because of fear of competition !

Or, looking back because of having been Leapfrogged (in some Technology OR implementation) ?

Third-party App Stores, at least here in the States, will be the great Equalizer !

And when that happens, NON-Game Apps will blossom !

Other countries around the world will take notice, & add their own New Laws to enable/support the same.

A revolution is just about to Kick Off, first here in the States, but it will catch fire around the world, & very-likely, very quickly !

Tim Cook's days of controlling the narrative will soon come to an End.

His AAPL will then need to produce (i.e., NO more Smoke & Mirrors AND/OR Dog & Pony Show) !
 

trellus

macrumors regular
Jan 12, 2007
159
171
Plano, TX
I'm totally happy that Apple is making transparency the goal here -- I actually like personalized ads myself and rarely have any objection to the tracking, but I also recognize not everyone feels the same way and even as one to generally not mind being tracked, I might disable it for some apps and in any case I like knowing who is doing it.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Westmere
Jul 12, 2016
37,406
41,770
I'm totally happy that Apple is making transparency the goal here -- I actually like personalized ads myself and rarely have any objection to the tracking, but I also recognize not everyone feels the same way and even as one to generally not mind being tracked, I might disable it for some apps and in any case I like knowing who is doing it.

I’d be curious why you want some randomized semi-generic ad that somewhat targets something you like? What tangible benefit does that offer you. I mean, if you want to be tracked, that’s your prerogative, just seems odd that you’re kinda ok with it, but kinda not based on your post.
 

HQuest

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2012
144
382
Business owners and ad industry executives told Stern that people should allow tracking to enable relevant ads that pertain to them, to support small businesses, and to keep the internet free.
Last I remember my bank account was charged $60 from Verizon Wireless and $80 from Verizon FiOS to pay for my Internet access… I guess my definition of a “free Internet” does not mean the same as of a Black Mirror episode… And to be honest, many companies survived with just cookies, so it is about time this absurd data harvest is to be stop.
 

wigby

macrumors 68020
Jun 7, 2007
2,389
2,158
I’d be curious why you want some randomized semi-generic ad that somewhat targets something you like? What tangible benefit does that offer you. I mean, if you want to be tracked, that’s your prerogative, just seems odd that you’re kinda ok with it, but kinda not based on your post.
We are all being tracked already through many other means. More accurate tracking can benefit both consumers and companies in the short term providing you don't have a philosophical problem with capitalism. Can tracking go too far? Yes, just like capitalism, consumerism and everything else too.
 

subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,971
3,940
Stern also spoke to Facebook's vice president of Ads & Business Product Marketing, who said that people would opt out of ads "without understanding the impact" because of Apple's lack of explanation.
Then the solution is better explanations, not getting rid of transparency and customer choice. And the onus of convincing users with betters explanations is on the apps. Apple’s only obligation is to give users the straightforward option and I believe they also give apps the ability add a custom message to convince users. If apps want to go beyond that, they are free to do some kind of ad campaign or whatever they want. But my suspicion is ultimately companies like Facebook know their business model only works without transparency and choice, which to me means it’s not a legit business model.
 

chucker23n1

macrumors 604
Dec 7, 2014
6,957
9,021
“...users deserve and need control of that information...”

I wonder when they’re going to get around to giving us end-to-end encryption of our iCloud backups?

For every person who would prefer end-to-end-encrypted backups, there's a person who would stand to lose their family photos for good, and would go to the Genius Bar and blame an Apple staffer.
 
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