What to know about iOS apps tracking
- With iOS 14.5, you can now stop apps from tracking you on your iPhone.
- To stop tracking for all apps, Go to Settings → Privacy → Tracking → Toggle off “Allow Apps to Request to Track.”
- If you want to allow an app to track you, Go to Settings → Privacy → Tracking settings, tap turn on or off each app to request permission to track your activity.
This article demonstrates how to stop apps from tracking you on iPhone in iOS 14.5 and later. Once you update your iPhone to the latest iOS, the apps, even those already installed, will need your consent to access your Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). Read along for step-by-step assistance.
How to block iPhone apps tracking
- Open Settings and tap Privacy.
- Tap Tracking.
- Turn off the toggle for Allow Apps to Request to Track.
- If you have permitted an app to track you, it will appear under step 3 mentioned above.
- You can turn off the tracking anytime by following the steps above and turning off the particular app’s toggle in step 3. In the same way, you can allow tracking as well.
Turn off Allow Apps to Request to Track for particular iOS app
When you install and launch a new app or when an existing app wants to track you, it will show you a popup saying, ‘Allow [app name] to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites? The identifier will be used to deliver personalized ads to you.’
If you wish to allow an app and its partners to track you, tap ‘Allow‘ when asked. But if you want to block app tracking, tap ‘Ask App Not to Track‘.
Learn more about Ad Tracking on iPhone
For a moment, assume you are searching for Samsung’s latest Galaxy S21 on a shopping app or website. Now, this app, if granted your consent, may place a shareable cookie on your iPhone that can be used by other partner ad networks. Courtesy of that shopping app (and the cookie), the ad network would know that you are interested in Galaxy S21. Now, when you visit any other app or website that uses this partnering ad network, you will see ads for Samsung Galaxy S21.
Is ad tracking useful for you?
‘Privacy’ should be a fundamental right. Earlier, companies had sort of a free hand. Now, if they want your device ID, email, and other such useful information for ads, iOS 15 just says, ‘hey, get the user’s permission, and then you can have access to this private info.’ Apple’s developer page talks in detail about this.
The targeted ad is not a crime. Sometimes, I see ads for great restaurants on Instagram only to find the restaurant is in another city. Thus, this ad is almost useless for me. I won’t click on it. But, when I see restaurant ads from my city, I often click to learn more about them.
So, we can conclude that it depends on user preference. If you wish to see relevant ads, you may let apps cross-track you.
How is blocking ad tracking problematic for ad companies?
As evident from the above paragraph, ads work the best when they are relevant to the person. And to ensure that only relevant ads are served to the user, the ad network needs to have plenty of data and build a profile around you.
This may include your s*x, age, device, location, preferences, spending habits, and much more. And if you ask apps not to track you, they cannot gain access to these relevant pieces of information and thus, fail to serve the ads you may be interested in. This leads to fewer clicks, less relevancy, and limited revenue for the ad networks!
What are your thoughts on this? Let us hear in the comments down below.