Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Feature Due to Release Early Spring

After being delayed out of its initial fall release window, Apple’s new privacy App Tracking Transparency feature is now due to launch in early spring.

Last year, during Apple’s WWDC keynote, the company announced its App Tracking Transparency feature. Once enabled, app developers would then have to request access to use a user’s IDFA identifier for ad tracking purposes. The intended rollout was initially due to coincide with the launch of iOS 14. However, Apple ultimately delayed the release of the feature in order to give app developers more time to prepare for the rollout. In December, iOS 14.4 beta users were quick to spot the feature being tested.

Now, its been reported by TechCrunch that a more firm release schedule is in place. According to Apple, the App Tracking Transparency feature is now due to launch in early spring. Additionally, a new version of the feature will be released alongside the next iOS 14 beta.

Once released, the App Tracking Transparency feature will be turned on by default, meaning every app must ask the user for permission to their IDFA for tracking and sharing purposes. As a user launches each app for the first time, a notification will appear and explain the tracker’s intentions and ask for the user to opt-in. This is quite the opposite of what Apple currently has in place. Users must opt-out of an app’s tracking through their device’s settings.

Additionally, Apple will be strictly enforcing this new measure. Developers will be required to understand whether APIs or SDKs are sending data to third-party networks and notify the user. Apple will also be taking part and holding itself to the same rules it’s instilling. The few Apple-developed apps that use tracking will notify the user with the exact same notification pop-up and breakdown. Under a separate settings menu, users can toggle a Personalized Ads option that will reflect on Apple’s apps and determine whether Apple’s first-party data can serve user-targeted ads.

Apple told TechCrunch that “Under Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track and make changes as they see fit. This requirement will roll out broadly in early spring with an upcoming release of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14, and has already garnered support from privacy advocates around the world.”

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