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Home / Tips and Tricks / iOS 14.5 can prevent apps from tracking you. This is how you set it up

iOS 14.5 can prevent apps from tracking you. This is how you set it up



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With iOS 14.5, you can prevent apps from following you around the web, so you see fewer ads following you.

Patrick Holland/CNET

If you’ve ever shopped online, you’re probably familiar with the scary feeling that comes when you click on a pair of shoes and find an ad for that same pair that follows you on every site and app you visit over the next week. A new feature on you iPhone in iOS 14.5 aims to keep your online life more private by giving you the option to disable ad tracking in apps you use.

The Transparency feature for app tracking arrived in April iOS 14.5 Updating. Unless you give explicit permission to an app (including Apple’s), it cannot use your information for targeted advertising, share your location information with advertisers, or share your advertising ID or other identifying information with third parties. This change — first revealed on Apple’s Global Developer Conference in June 2020 — has received support from privacy advocates and criticism from companies such as companies facebook, who says it will harm his advertising business.

The move comes along with Apple’s other efforts to increase transparency and privacy, which CEO Tim Cook called a “fundamental human right” in April. With the release of iOS 14.3 in December, users started seeing the app”nutrition labelsinforming them of the data an app is requesting before downloading it from the App Store.

Here’s how to use the new App Tracking Transparency feature to control which apps can track you.

Disable app tracking for new apps

When you download and open a new app, you’ll get a notification asking if you want the app to track your activity on other companies’ apps and websites. You will also see information about what the app would track. You can tap both Ask app not to follow or To allow.

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When you download an app, you’ll see a pop-up notification where you can choose whether to allow the app to track you.

Apple

You can also opt out of app tracking for any app you download by going to Settings > Privacy > Tracking, and turn off Allow apps to request to follow. This means that any app that tries to ask for your permission will be automatically blocked and informed that you have requested not to be tracked. And all apps (except those you’ve allowed to track in the past) won’t be able to access your device’s information used for advertising, according to Apple.

It is important to note that this does not mean that ads will disappear. It just means you’re more likely to see generic ads, not one for that pair of shoes you once clicked on.

Disable app tracking on already downloaded apps

For apps you’ve already downloaded that may have tracking permissions set up, you can still enable or disable these permissions on a per-app basis.

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Brett Pearce/CNET

below Settings, tap an app, then tap to turn off Allow tracking. Or go to Settings > Privacy > Trackingand tap to enable or disable any app you see in the list of apps that have requested permission to track your activity.

All app developers are required to request permission for tracking. If Apple discovers that a developer is following users who have asked not to be followed, they should either update their app, or else they may be rejected by the app store.

Apple believes privacy features like these are a differentiator for their products. Cook has said that because the company’s business model is not based on selling ads, it can focus on privacy.

For more, check out browser privacy settings you should change immediately, and CNET’s choices for the best VPNs of 2021.


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