iOS 14.5 Update: Everything We Know About The App Tracking Transparency
May 5, 2021

iOS 14.5 Update: Everything We Know About The App Tracking Transparency

iOS 14.5 update is now out with a new privacy feature. Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency gives iPhone and iPad users the option to reject tracking in mobile apps that collect data for advertising purposes with third parties. While the new update guarantees more privacy for people, it has also generated criticism from app developers and companies whose advertising efforts will be inevitably affected by the new privacy tool.

In this article, we look at what the iOS 14.5 update means: what are the additional features guaranteed for Apple users? And what are the options for advertisers as the update is rolled out?

1. More privacy for people

With the new iOS 14.5 update, Apple users have more control over their personal data that is tracked through apps on their devices.

Advertisers then use the tracked data to offer tailored ads to people. But now, users can choose to opt out. As Apple puts it, “The AppTrackingTransparency framework presents an app-tracking authorization request to the user and provides the tracking authorization status.”

When opening an app like Facebook on your device, a pop-up will appear with the question “Allow Facebook to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?”. Users can then choose to “Ask app not to track” or “Allow”.

Users can also reject data tracking across every downloaded app by going to Settings > Privacy > Tracking, and ticking off ‘Allow Apps to Request to Track’. Once selected, apps on your device will be blocked from asking for permission to track, and they will be automatically informed of your decision to opt out of tracking. As a result, all the apps will be blocked from accessing data from your device used for advertising.

But opting out of tracking does not mean that ads will disappear forever. It means that people who decide to opt out are likely to receive more generic ads rather than personalised ads.

Aside from the new privacy features, iOS 14.5 offers another layer of data protection with a new tool that also allows Apple user to set their iPhone to automatically download security updates, without needing to do this manually.

2. Limitations for companies

While the new privacy is studied to offer more privacy and user data protection, it has generated frustration for advertisers that rely on the user data to understand consumer behaviour, preferences and needs. Undoubtedly, the App Tracking Transparency is going to become a limitation for companies. If people start choosing to reject app tracking, there will be very little or no access to data for ads.

Although the new App Tracking Transparency feature won’t mean completely removing all types of tracking, it does mean that users are being made aware of the kind of data that is generally pulled from their digital devices. More awareness for users could mean more difficulty to offer tailored ads.

3. What's next for advertisers

If you can no longer rely on data from third parties, then you won’t know who you’re directing your ad to, so as an advertiser, you’ll need to ensure that all your ads are optimised, including all essential information for users to find it. You can read more about product feed optimisation here.

Got questions about what this means for your upcoming ads then get in touch with us today!

Header image credit: 9to5mac


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