For months now, there’s been talk of companies like Facebook being against the planned App Tracking Blocker Apple has been promising is coming to iOS. There was even news of such companies sending notifications to users telling them to allow tracking once the feature rolls out, so as to enable them make money. The protest has been that the new feature will not only reduce their revenue streams, but could even hurt some company’s whole business models.
Apple, who has been a very loud privacy-first advocate, promised with the launch of iOS 14 to go all in on blocking apps from tracking users when they’re not using them. This is something every smartphone user has experienced. For example you google about a coffee mug, and when you open Facebook you see ads about coffee mugs.
Well, today iOS 14.5 is dropping with the new privacy feature. Once you install the new update, you should be able to individually block apps from tracking you when you’re not using them. This is building on the already existing feature on iOS by now letting you select which apps may track you and which ones may not.
The current feature as it is now lets you just switch on or off all app tracking. There’s however a disclaimer that apps that don’t ask may still try to track you.
With iOS 14.5, immediately you install an app, you’ll be asked whether you want the new app to track you or not. Later on, you can go to Settings >> Privacy >> Tracking and select from the apps that have requested tracking, which app you will allow and which ones you’ll block.
Blocking all tracking will also block future apps from being able to track you. Let’s see how companies will try to find ways around the new feature. Let’s also wait and see how the Android OS will find ways to imitate the same feature.