Did you ever search for a product, and notice that you’re starting to get ads of the same or related product? Well, this is how apps track, record and share your data with advertisers. Apple, in its latest iOS release – iOS 14.5, has included a feature to stop apps from tracking you. And here’s how to stop apps from tracking you on iPhone using iOS 14.5.
Apps with the ability to track you across the web and other apps is very common and, in many cases, can be harmless. However, in some cases app tracking is abused. Sometimes, apps send or sell your personal data like phone numbers and locations to third-party research and marketing firms.
Apps use and share your data, like your age, location, health information, spending habits, browsing history, etc. This data can help to tag your photos or track your location so that nearby stores can offer discounts.
But some apps have trackers embedded within them that are gathering more data than they need. These apps collect thousands of pieces of information about you to create a digital profile and sell it to third parties like advertisers and data brokers. These third parties then use this profile to target you with ads. They also use it to predict and influence your behaviors and decisions. All this happens without your knowledge or permission. Your information is for sale.
Now let’s take a look at the steps.
How it works?
Privacy is important for everyone. So, to tackle this issue, Apple has released a new feature in the latest iOS update, iOS 14.5. Users will now be asked a simple question, “Allow apps to track you or not?” Maybe some users are okay with sharing their information so that the apps can share their data with others to personalize ads or build a digital profile about them.
The Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is a device identifier assigned to a user’s device. Advertisers use this to track data so they can deliver customized advertising.
In iOS 14.5, When an app wants to use your IDFA, you’ll see a popup that says “Allow App to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?“
And if you are not comfortable with apps using your data, this feature is for you. You can now stop apps from tracking you.
How to use new App Tracking feature in iOS 14.5:
With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps are not allowed to access the IDFA without your permission.
There are two ways you can allow/block iPhone app tracking:
Keep in mind that some apps may not function properly without the ability to use trackers.
How to Block apps from tracking you individually:
If you want to allow some apps to track you and block some apps from tracking you, just do the following steps:
When you open an app in iOS 14.5 for the first time and it wants to track you, you’ll see a prompt like this:
- Go to Settings > Privacy > Tracking
- Choose the apps you want to stop from tracking you. Just turn off tracking by tapping the toggle next to these apps.
If you decide to turn tracking on for a particular app but had the auto-decline feature turned on, you can turn off the auto-decline feature and then re-download the app to get the popup to come back.
How to Block all apps from tracking you altogether:
If you don’t want to deal with pop-ups from individual apps, just do the following steps:
- Go to Settings > Privacy > Tracking
- Turn off Allow Apps to Request to Track
This will not give you a pop-up whenever you open an app, and all the apps will stop you from tracking.
I hope this guide helps you to block apps from tracking you and God forbid, abuse your privacy.
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