Starting in “early spring”, Apple will be releasing a new version of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14 with a requirement for App Tracking Transparency. Per Apple’s update, coming first with Apple’s next beta update, App Tracking Transparency “will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies.” Users will be able to see app requests for permissions in iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV Settings, and “make changes as they see fit.”
Above all other trackers of data, Facebook will be affected by this update to tracking transparency most. Apple goes so far as to use Facebook as their primary example of how an App Tracking Transparency request might look. Above you’ll see the pop-up as shared by Apple in their release today called “Data Privacy Day at Apple: Improving transparency and empowering users.”
This new permission system will be put in play alongside the already active “privacy nutrition label” required of every app in iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS. Every product page on the App Store for Apple products “includes standardized, easy-to-read information based on the developer’s self-reported data practices.”
Ideally this will give users more control over which companies track their activities on Apple devices, through apps, especially when it comes to tracking that’d otherwise go unnoticed. This will likely change the way many apps make money, too – as more than a few make cash from 3rd-party tracking services. Like the one that suggests they are “at the center of what it means to be human.”
Apple also released a document called A Day in the Life of Your Data complete with the following quote from Steve Jobs. “I believe people are smart and some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data.” (Steve Jobs, All Things Digital Conference, 2010).