Apple begins to ask which apps can share its data; understand how it works
Apple began to gradually release on Monday (26) an update for the iPhone, iOS 14.5. The system will not have major visual changes, but it does bring a new privacy tool, called “App tracking transparency”.
The feature allows users to decide which applications are authorized to collect usage data.
Among other features are unlocking with the Apple Watch if the person is wearing a mask and new emojis (see at the end of the story).
How it works?
In iOS 14.5, when people open an app that they want to track, they will see a pop-up window that will ask if they allow their activities to be shared with other apps and websites.
If the user taps “allow”, the developers of the service will be able to continue offering contextualized advertising based on usage history.
If the person asks the app not to track, Apple will restrict the use of a “device identifier” feature – a string of letters and numbers given to each iPhone that is used to track activity on the web.
In addition, the application developer will be advised that the user does not want their information to be tracked and shared with others.
What is the use tracking for?
Several websites and applications monitor how people use their services to offer a personalized experience – an application’s feed is usually tailored to a user’s interests, for example. This type of tracking will continue to work on iOS 14.5.
What changes are the trackers that use information from one application and share it with another.
This happens when someone searches for a particular product on a website, and then that product starts appearing as advertising in other applications. Apple’s intention is to restrict this exchange.
The feature joins other options such as the “nutritional table” that shows what information in a given application is linked to a person and which is used for tracking and the indicator of when an app is using the camera or microphone.
Not everyone was happy
This change did not please everyone, especially Facebook. When the feature was announced months ago, the social network made announcements in major U.S. newspapers to criticize Apple’s new policy.
If many users choose to ask apps not to track, large companies that offer advertising – like Facebook – will have a harder time crossing information and offering targeted ads.
According to the social network, this can harm small businesses that buy advertising on their platform because they will need to spend on a higher volume of ads to reach people who could be interested in their products.
As a way of responding to Apple’s initiative, the Facebook app should show some people a window that gives more context about data collection.
Advertising sales are Facebook’s main source of revenue. Throughout 2020, the platform generated US $ 85.9 billion, of which US $ 84.1 via advertising (or 97% of the total).
Other iOS 14.5 news
The update for iPhones will allow people with an Apple Watch to unlock their phone with facial recognition even if they are wearing a mask. The iPhone will communicate with the watch to recognize the owner.
Siri, the system’s virtual assistant, is more open: by asking her to play music, it will be possible to set a third-party application, such as Deezer or Spotify, as the default app – before, the feature was limited to Apple Music.
The update also adds support for AirTags, which were launched at an event last week and act as “key chains” that make it easy to find objects.
How to update?
The iPhone usually sends a notification when the update is available. But it is possible to check if it is already released by going to:
Select the “General” option;
Then tap on “Software update”.
IPhones compatible with iOS 14.5 are:
iPhone 12 mini, 12 and 12 Pro;
iPhone 11 and 11 Pro;
iPhone XR and XS;
iPhone SE and SE 2.