iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 have been released, marking one of the most significant iPhone updates in years. The update enables support for AirTags trackers, App Tracking Transparency (ATT), the ability to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch, more voice options for Siri, separate skin tone variations for emoji with couples among multiple bug fixes.
iOS 14.5 has been criticized by companies in the tracking and advertising industry because it requires apps to ask users for permission to track them across other apps and services. Privacy advocates have longed for the ability to say ‘no’ to having their data collected and sold.
App Tracking Transparency simply requires apps to respect users’ right to privacy and to know what apps are doing on their own phones (more specifically cross-app tracking). App and service vendors have historically hidden their invasive tracking of users because they know that most people wouldn’t be comfortable with it.
This is why Apple’s new transparency requirement angers them. It has been estimated that most users will decline apps tracking privileges when prompted by the new feature. Many organizations will have to change their business model to something less dependent on privacy invasions, and that should make the Internet a healthier and fairer place.