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Home / Tips and Tricks / Prevent iPhone apps from tracking you in iOS 14.5. Here’s how

Prevent iPhone apps from tracking you in iOS 14.5. Here’s how

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With iOS 14.5, you can stop apps from tracking 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 pair following you on every site and app you visit for the next week. A new function on your iPhone in iOS 14.5 aims to keep your online life more private by giving you the option to turn off ad tracking in the apps you use.

App Tracking Transparency feature arrived with iOS 14.5 last week (although some users have experienced a bug after updating). Unless you explicitly consent to an app (including those made by Apple), it may not 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 Facebookwho say it will happen his advertising business.

The move comes along with other Apple efforts to increase transparency and privacy, which CEO Tim Cook recently called a “fundamental human right.” In December, with the release of iOS 14.3, users started to see the app “nutrition labels‘which informs you of the data an app requests 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.

How to Opt Out of App Tracking for New Apps

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


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


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

How to unsubscribe from app tracking for your already downloaded apps

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

below Settings, tap an app, then tap to turn it 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 must request permission for tracking. If Apple discovers that a developer is tracking users who have asked not to be tracked, they must either update their app or they may be rejected by the app store.

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

Look for more information browser privacy settings that you should change immediately, and CNET’s picks for the best VPNs of 2021.

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