Apps are still tracking iOS users despite Apples claim about App Tracking Transparency
Apps are still tracking iOS users despite Apples claim about App Tracking Transparency

Apps are still tracking iOS users despite Apple's claim about app tracking transparency

According to the Financial Times, Apple may need to make some changes to the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature it introduced in iOS 14.5. With ATT, users can choose to continue to be tracked across apps and the web for online advertising. If you ask the app not to track you, the developer will not be able to use the System Advertising Identifier (IDFA) used for tracking or any other data to track you.

Despite Apple’s app tracking transparency, some apps continue to track users who have signed out

The latest data shows that only 16% of iOS users worldwide and 6% in the states chose to continue receiving online advertisements. Marketing strategy consultant Eric Seufert says many apps use workarounds to identify those who haven’t agreed to sign up. As a result, thanks to the workarounds, some apps collect the same amount of information as they did before ATT started.

As Seufert says, “Anyone who’s currently opting out of tracking has basically collected the same amount of data as before. Apple didn’t really put off the behavior they labeled so objectionable, so they’re kind of complicit. ” happens. “

The Financial Times saw an email from an app provider telling its customers that it was still able to collect data from 95% of its iOS users using IP addresses given by them phones and networks used have been accessed. This technique is known as “fingerprinting”, which is actually forbidden Apple. The latter states that developers “must not derive any data from a device in order to uniquely identify it”.

Another workaround relies on “probabilistic” methods of user identification, which many believe Apple allows because they are based on temporary data rather than permanent device IDs. However, Apple did not comment when asked whether its rules differentiate between fingerprinting and “probabilistic matching”.

Alex Austin, CEO of Branch mobile marketing platform, says: “It’s becoming increasingly clear that iOS 14 (iOS 14.5) was unfortunately much more of a marketing advertisement than an actual privacy initiative.” Yale Privacy Lab founder Sean O’Brien says Apple is patting himself on the back over its privacy system and is heavily promoting the iPhone’s privacy features, although it does not fully enforce them.

Apple is at risk of litigation if users who have signed out continue to be prosecuted

Apple has notified users that once they opt out of tracking, third parties will no longer be able to track them. But if for one reason or another it doesn’t, Apple could find itself in its home: the courtroom.

Says O’Brien, “Apple could find this out the hard way, like Google has in the past when faced with complaints of misleading customers about privacy. Just as it was found that the location history of Google was never really turned. ” I think we’ll find in 2018 that Apple apps still allow peering into the windows of consumers’ lives. ”In 2018, Google continued to track Android users even after they turned off their location history settings.

Some of what Google said reflects Apple’s comments. Look at Google’s comments three years ago: “Location History is a Google product that is fully activated and users have the option to edit, delete, or turn it off at any time […] We make sure that location history users know that we are still using the location to improve the Google experience, for example when they do a Google search or use Google for directions if they deactivate the product. “


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