Allow App to Track on Your iPhone – Here’s What it Means

Your iPhone will probably start to show notifications asking you to allow “allow [app] for tracking your activity across other company’s apps and websites?”

These notifications are part a new privacy feature for iPhones called App Tracking Transparency. (ATT) was introduced by Apple with the iOS 14.5 operating system update. Although the new iPhone feature is not new, it has become more popular as Apple developers update their apps to ask for your location.

What happens if you agree to iPhone tracking?

Apps such Facebook and other apps can track your iPhone using an identifier that advertisers use ( IDFA ).

An advertiser can use this unique code to measure the success of their campaigns. For example, you might see an advertisement on Instagram and Google the company to make a purchase. The advertiser can then send this data.

What happens if you refuse to allow tracking on your iPhone?

If you refuse to allow an app on your iPhone to track your activity across different apps or websites, the ATT feature will return a string with zeros instead the IDFA. This means that the app developer does not have the unique code to track your iPhone activity. They are therefore literally prohibited from doing this tracking.

It is important to remember that there is a caveat. Apple cannot control the IDFA in full, but there are other ways that you can be tracked on your iPhone. Apple’s rules say that app developers can’t track you on your iPhone in any way and that shady techniques like fingerprinting are prohibited.

However, indicators have shown that apps may be tracking other people’s iPhone activities. It’s therefore a good idea for users to install a tracker blocking application such as lockdown privacy. This app detects and blocks other iPhone tracking.

ATT does not track your iPhone as much, but companies like Facebook can track you on other devices.

How to stop apps asking to track you

You can disable all tracking on your iPhone if you don’t wish for any apps to track you. You can do this in your settings. Go to Privacy > Tracking, and turn off Allow Apps To Request to Track. Apps will be unable to track you and you will be informed that you don’t want to.

You can control which apps are allowed and disabled to track by turning Allow Apps To Request to Track on your iPhone Settings.

Why app tracking transparency is important

The fact that Apple’s ATT feature has caused Facebook a lot of grief has made it famous. Facebook has been very vocal about the impact of the new iPhone feature on its revenue. ATT has already had an effect on the ability measure ad campaigns.

However, ATT is a positive thing for iPhone users privacy. Apple’s new feature should help to improve the privacy of iPhone users.

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