There has been a massive update to Apple’s iPhone software that makes it difficult for Facebook and other apps to track your data in the background.
iOS 14.5 arrived last week and comes with App Tracking Transparency that will enhance the privacy settings for the company’s billion iPhone users.
Until now, Facebook and other apps have been able to mine data from iPhones if users if they had not changed their settings to prevent it. Most people were not aware of this setting in the past so very few people did.
For millions of iPhone and iPad users who installed the latest update of the Apple operating system (iOS 14.5) will be asked if they want to allow Facebook to track them across the internet and share information across apps. This happens via a pop-up notification and now people can choose to give or deny permission to do this.
If they say no to tracking, this turns off the tap of data that Facebook and other companies use to deliver micro-targeted ads to their accounts.
When the new software update is installed, all apps – even those already on the device – will be required to ask and receive consent to track your online activity.
Unless you give explicit permission to an app (including those made by Apple), it can‘t use your data for targeted ads, share your location data with advertisers or share your advertising ID or any other identifiers with third parties.
It is important to understand that even if you do not allow Facebook or other apps to track you, you will still get ads.
There will be as many ads on Facebook or other platforms as before, but they’ll be less targeted. According to Facebook, the difference will be obvious enough that it’s warned of a 50 per cent drop in revenue in its Audience Network advertising business, which provides in-app advertisements targeted to users based on Facebook’s data.
However, it is important to keep in mind, Facebook has gathered a huge amount of data on users and can continue to track users within the app itself, for example, what groups you like or the friends you interact with.
The update also doesn’t stop Facebook from continuing to track its users across the internet when they switch from iPhone or iPad to a laptop.
While it is a big win in some ways, it will not feel like a huge change when using the app. If the product is free, then you are the product.” Reach out with any questions or concerns about how best to manage your privacy, we are always happy to answer questions.