Apple iPhone Tracking – Here’s How to Turn It Off

Apple’s IDFA (identifier to advertisers) has been criticized once more after a European privacy advocate charged the iPhone maker with illegally installing the ad-tracking function on its devices. Here are the steps to disable ad tracking.

Apple launched iOS14 this fall. It was already planning to offer consumers more control over whether or not to enable IDFA. This allows advertisers to track your consumption habits and behavior. After a significant pushback by advertisers, including Facebook, delayed this new privacy feature.

According to Bloomberg there has been opposition to the IDFA by Noyb (a group created by Max Schrems, privacy activist). This group claims that iPhones are automatically placed with trackers, and consumers cannot consent to this.

Bloomberg stated that the Noyb complaints are not based on 2018 EUUpdate to Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) but rather on an older EU law regulating the use of cookies by firms. This action is only for German and Spanish users who have complained about Apple’s use invasive trackers.

Apple has rebutted against these claims and called them “factually incorrect.”

The iPhone maker stated in a statement that it would make this clear to privacy regulators if they investigate the complaint. Apple does not have access to or use any IDFA information on any user’s device.

“Our goal is to protect the privacy and security of our users. Our latest software release, iOS 14 gives users more control over whether they wish to allow apps to track their data by linking their data with data from third parties or sharing their data with data brokers.

“Our practices are compliant with European law. They support and advance the aims GDPR and ePrivacy Directive which is to give individuals full control over their data.”


How to Stop iPhone Tracking

A guide I wrote recently about how to use Apple’s new privacy features in iOS 14 This document outlines how to prevent advertisers tracking you before the opt-in feature is available in iOS 14.

For now, open your Settings and go to Privacy > Tracking. You can disable the ability for apps to track you through apps and websites owned or controlled by other companies.

The text asking for “learn more” can be a bit confusing, so I’ll explain. You can also disable the ability of apps to track you and prevent them from following you across apps.

Apple explains that if you disable Allow Apps To Ask to Track, any app that asks for permission will be stopped from asking. You will also be informed that you have asked not to be tracked.

You can toggle data sharing off in your privacy settings by going to Analytics and Improvements.

IOS 14 introduced a number of new privacy and security features, such as an orange dot that shows when your camera or mic are being used. Developers now need to provide a privacy ” nutritional label” to show how data is being used.

I am hopeful that Apple will soon add the anti-tracking function to iOS 14. You can adjust your iPhone settings by going to the Apple website.

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