NESABAMEDIA.COM – Apple delaying new anti-tracking privacy features in the next version of the iPhone operating system that would make it harder for app makers to track people online to help sell digital ads.
The decision outlined Thursday affects iOS 14, which is expected to be released as a free software upgrade to an estimated one billion iPhone users later this month. Apple intends iOS 14 to automatically block tracking as soon as it comes out, but the company is now saying it will withhold the tool until early next year.
The same security should be in the next operating system for iPad and Apple TV too.
The feature would require apps to explicitly ask users’ permission to collect and share data about their online behavior via a unique code that identifies each iPhone. The requirement raises concerns that most people will block tracking, making it harder for free apps to sell the ads that generate most of their revenue.
Currently, the app is automatically assigned a tracking code except iPhone and device users Apple others are having extra trouble changing their own privacy controls.
Facebook, which runs the largest digital ad network behind Google, warned last week that new privacy features in iOS 14 threaten to deal a major blow to many apps at a time when they are struggling amid a coronavirus-triggered recession.
Although Apple delaying new anti-tracking tools on iPhones, the Cupertino, California company stressed that it should not be construed as a sign of backing down from its outspoken commitment to protecting its customers’ privacy as a “fundamental right.”
“We want to give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes” to the app and advertising model, the company said in a statement.
Delay Apple disappointing those trying to combat the digital surveillance inherent in online tracking, said Craig Danuloff, CEO of The Privacy Co., which recently introduced its own privacy app to help protect iPhone users from prying eyes.
“This delay can only be seen as hurting the millions of users who have absolutely no understanding of the level of tracking that is going on,” said Danuloff.