Why Apple’s iOS 14.5 Update Will Make Facebook Unhappy

Apple has made it mandatory for applications to seek users’ consent before they track their activity.

Published
Tech and Auto
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Apple has released its most controversial iPhone update iOS 14.5, which will now prevent advertisers tracking users' data across their apps.</p></div>
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Despite the backlash from Facebook and advertising industry, Apple has released its most controversial iPhone update iOS 14.5, which will now prevent advertisers from tracking users' data across their apps.

The new update also comes with better Face ID unlocking, new emoji, support for PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers. But the highlight of this update is the its app tracking transparency.

US tech giant Apple has made it mandatory for applications to ask for users’ consent before they track user activity across other apps and websites.

What Has Changed?

<div class="paragraphs"><p>With App Tracking Transparency, apps are now required to get a user’s permission to track or access their device’s advertising identifier.</p></div>

With App Tracking Transparency, apps are now required to get a user’s permission to track or access their device’s advertising identifier.

(Photo Courtesy: Apple)

Users will now have a choice to opt out of in-app tracking unlike before. The new update puts the choice in front of the user while the app is accessed.

Apple in a statement told App developers that "unless you (app developers) receive permission from the user to enable tracking, the device's advertising identifier value will be all zeros and you may not track them."

If a user declines to give permission, then applications will not be able to access the unique user ID, through which apps track the digital usage of its users.

However, app developers might be able to use other methods, known as 'fingerprinting', to achieve the same goal, but Apple has warned that doing so could cause them to be banned from the App Store.

If users permit the app to track their data (by clicking the 'Allow' button) everything will work just like it did before, the only difference would be that your data would be tracked with prior consent.

How Did Apps Track Data Before?

Developers prior to this update, used several third party tools to target users and track their data. This data was then sold to companies and businesses that want to focus on their specific marketing segments.

With the launch of iOS 14.5, users will now have the choice to opt out of these applications to track their data.

Why Is Facebook Protesting Against iOS 14.5?

Facebook believes that Apple’s new system will make it harder and more expensive for advertising networks to target customers, which will hurt small businesses that rely on targeted ad campaigns.

Interestingly, Facebook had also published full page ads protesting against the changes in the Apple’s new privacy policy.

A report from The Information reveals that this new policy will hurt less than 5 percent of Facebook’s $84 billion annual ad revenue. The social media platform is also expecting many of its users to opt out of the new app tracking policy.

However, Apple has made a few exceptions in the new app tracking rules. Companies like Facebook which own multiple apps will be able to use the data from those apps. For example, Facebook can use data it gathers from Instagram to target ads in its main app, The Verge explains.

Meanwhile, iOS 14.5 also brings exciting new features to iPhone, including the ability to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch while wearing a face mask, more diverse Siri voices, new privacy controls, skin tone options to better represent couples in emoji.

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