The privacy updates for operating systems on Apple devices that have been making advertisers wary of its potential impact on personalized and targeted advertising will be launched on April 26, 2021.
With the upcoming public release of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, the privacy updates on these Apple operating systems will require all apps to use the AppTrackingTransparency framework to request the user’s permission to track them or to access their device’s advertising identifier.
For the unacquainted, the announcement by Apple to ask users for their permission to be tracked across apps and websites may severely hurt the data collected and used by social media apps for targeted advertising.
All apps would need users’ permission to track them across apps and websites owned by other companies to collect data and serve personalized ads. Additionally, users can also analyze the data types an app may collect, whether the information is used to track them or is linked to their identity or device. The information would be available on each app’s product page.
Apps submitted for review are obligated to declare all forms of tracking (by name or email address, etc.) in the product page’s App Store Privacy Information section and be performed only if permission is granted through AppTrackingTransparency.
App developers would also need to include a purpose string in the system prompt to explain why they’d like to track the user, per App Store Review Guideline 5.1.2(i). These requirements apply to all apps starting April 26, 2021.
The privacy updates would better protect the user data and potentially sensitive information from unethical advertising and data leaks or breaches that several social media apps have been surrounded by.
But targeted advertising that has been an upper hand for social media platforms over traditional mediums will be negatively impacted if more and more users opt-in to not be tracked by their activities on apps.