A major software update is about to appear on your iPhone and iPad. It’s called iOS 14.5, and it may be the most important upgrade you might never know happened. I say “might never know” because the most significant part of this software has to do with the ways in which iOS 14.5 affects user privacy, stopping user data tracking that you might never have noticed in the first place.
With iOS 14.5 comes a clear and present approach to activity tracking. When an app is opened for the first time after updating a phone to 14.5, a new message may appear. If activity tracking is embedded within said app, the user will need to consent to said tracking if said tracking is to take place.
Groups like Facebook and Google will be most affected by this change in permissions. Facebook, especially, has been and continues to rally against Apple’s update in permissions on a per-app basis. Facebook has gone so far as to warn businesses that they should be opposed to Apple’s changes.
Google seems ready to attempt to bypass the whole situation. It’ll be interesting to see if more companies than Google and Facebook take action against Apple when the update is actually live and in-effect for the public.
It’ll also be interesting to see which developers continue to work with Facebook and/or Google activity tracking embedded in their apps. Many apps allow such tracking with little to no notification to the user, gaining revenue from said tracking from the 3rd party and giving said 3rd party the opportunity to gain knowledge on the user (you) so that you might be better targeted with advertisements and so forth.
If Apple’s iOS 14.5 permissions come correct, we’ll see the “do you give permission” request in apps aplenty – at first. The interesting bit will be seeing whether said tracking continues to be a common practice.
The update to iOS 14.5 begins next week. This could be anywhere from Monday on forward – and we’ll be sure to post when we see the update go live for the masses. To update your iPhone or iPad, open Settings, scroll down to General, find “Software Update”, and see if you’re ready to roll.