How to Stop Apps from Requesting to Track in iOS 14

Not that Apple had not been at loggerheads with the ad industry before, the tech giant’s latest assault on apps like Google and Facebook that track users to serve personalized ads is huge. As part of the long-hatched crackdown on user-privacy, iOS 14 will force apps to explicitly ask for permission to track. What’s more, users can even stop apps from requesting to track in iOS 14.

How to Disable Tracking on iPhone Running iOS 14

Though many of you would be familiar with ad tracking, I’m sure a handful of users might not be aware of it and how it works. So, let’s take a sneak peek into it first!

What is Ad Tracking?

Ad tracking (also known as post-testing or ad effectiveness tracking) is the process through which advertisers collect data and user insights about the performance of online advertising campaigns. They can employ multiple methods to collect such information including cookies, pixels (also known as a “web beacon), and URLs.

For instance, if you happen to visit a shopping website to search for jeans, the site will place a cookie on your device. Then the ad networks like the ones operated by Google and Facebook will keep a tab on that cookie and serve ads for jeans. That’s the reason why you often come across ads related to the things that you have been looking for on the internet.

It’s called tailored advertising designed to offer personalized ads. Being more personalized and effective, it’s highly demanded.

Can Advertisers Know Your Identity?

No. As Advertisers are restricted to get only certain information, your identity remains protected. All they can know is that the same person (device) saw the ad or visited the website.

How Would You Find Out When Apps Are Tracking You Across Internet?

As mentioned above, apps will need to first take your permission to track you across websites and apps owned by other companies. You will see a popup saying something like, ” Facebook (or any other app) would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies. Your data will be used to deliver personalized ads to you. ”

iOS 14 ad tracking popup

In the popup, you will get two options: Allow Tracking and Ask App Not to Track. You can choose any of the two options as per your need.

Enable/Disable Tracking on iPhone

  1. On your iPhone, open the Setting app.

2. Now, scroll down a bit and tap on Privacy.

3. Next, tap on Tracking.

4. Finally, turn off the switch next to “Allow Apps to Request to Track”.

That’s it! Going forward, apps won’t request to track. If you ever change your mind, return to the privacy setting and turn on the switch to enable tracking on your iOS device.

How to Disallow Apps from Requesting to Track

So, that’s the quick way you can prevent apps from requesting to track on your iPhone running iOS 14. While it’s undoubtedly a great feature for consumers, it seems to be a nightmare for the ad industry. So, it would be interesting to see how they respond to Apple’s massive crackdown on privacy.

Additionally, iOS 14 has come up with several very helpful privacy-specific features like local network access restriction and the ability to allow apps to access only specific images. Besides, it also includes cool features like Home screen widgets and App Library. What’s your take on these privacy features? Let us know in the comments below.

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