Apple Releases Hard-Hitting Message Warning Against iPhone Data Tracking

Apple has just released a video which puts one of the newest features in its iOS 14.5 update, which launched last night. In the video, below, the company belies the gentle, reassuring music with a message that’s decidedly hard-hitting.
App Tracking Transparency is one of the keystone features in iOS 14.5 and one that Apple is rightly talking up. The video never mentions Facebook by name but it’s clear that companies with the same system of tracking data carefully are the ones that are targeted. It talks about how apps share your data, “data like your age, location, health information, spending habits and browsing history to name a few.”
Well, if that isn’t enough to get you concerned, it goes on to point out that “some apps have trackers embedded in them that are taking more data than they need.” These apps create “a digital profile that they then sell to others.”
It gets tougher: “This has been happening without your knowledge or permission. Your information is for sale. You have become the product.”
There’s more, and the elegantly animated two-minute video is worth watching. And, of course, App Tracking Transparency is the answer, a way for you to take control over what apps are allowed to track.

Here’s what happens in iOS 14.5.

When you have updated to the new software, an app that wants to track you means you’ll see a message onscreen inviting you to choose whether you want the app to track your activity across other apps and websites.

You have two choices: Ask App Not to Track or Allow. Apple says it’s just about having a choice, nothing more, though there’s a clear preference being expressed: “Maybe you’re okay giving an app your email address or location so they can share the data with others to personalize ads or build a profile. And if you’re not, that’s what the prompt is for.”

There’s no doubt App Tracking Transparency is a very big deal and it offers a real choice to consumers. Chances are, you may find yourself clicking the option marked Ask App Not To Track. The sense of control over your data is highly appealing.