Apple has begun rolling out a privacy feature for iOS 14 that allows iPhone users to block trackers. These are installed by apps and websites to map your internet behavior. The rollout is estimated to be completed in early 2021.
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Rollout: Apple will block trackers in iOS 14
The new function works both ways. First, the ‘Tracking’ menu in the Settings app is expanded. Here it is indicated per app or website whether they can place trackers or not. You can also withdraw the given consent (at a later time) here.
In addition, iPhone users will now see a pop-up that indicates which app or website is trying to track your internet activities. Companies, such as Facebook, can also indicate on this screen why they place trackers. iPhone users then choose whether or not to allow apps.
For the time being, it seems to be going to be a limited rollout. Only a small group of iPhone users will already see the pop-ups appear. The ‘tracker warner’ will probably be rolled out to the general public at the same time as iOS 14.4. The new iPhone software version will be released in January or February.
Counter gas from Facebook
Apple actually wanted to release the privacy feature last September, but decided to give app and website developers more time to customize their services.
Facebook, among others, strongly opposed the new function. The social medium placed full-page commercials in The Washington Post to counteract Apple. Facebook thinks Apple’s privacy feature hurts small businesses.
What are trackers?
Trackers try to map your internet behavior. They are placed by apps, advertisers, websites and data merchants, usually for the purpose of personalizing services.
For example, if you search for “red shoes” on Google, you will see continuous advertisements for red shoes in the coming weeks. Thanks to previously placed trackers, people also know whether you are looking for men’s or women’s shoes, approximately how much you want to spend, which brands you are considering and where you live.
This way you can improve your privacy
The current iPhone software version, iOS 14.3, has multiple privacy features on board. For example, you can choose not to send your location to apps, or to block certain photos from your camera roll. Take a look at our iOS 14 privacy overview for all functions.
Do you want to be more privacy conscious with social media? Then Jumbo is recommended. This app screens your Facebook profile, automatically deletes tweets you post and clears Google searches.