- Application Tracking Transparency is a key new feature in Apple’s iOS 14.5 software update.
- Application developers now need to show users a pop-up window asking for permission to track them.
- Some users’ settings have prevented them from seeing pop-ups. Here’s how to change that.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, which came out earlier this week, has a bunch of new features – from emoticons to new voices for Siri.
Perhaps the most significant update is the introduction of Transparency Application Tracking, which requires application developers to service pop-ups that explicitly invite people to choose to be tracked on other companies̵
However, some people who have updated to iOS 14.5 have not seen any pop-ups.
Mobile advertising experts have suggested three possible reasons. Apple did not respond to requests for comment.
1. The “Allow apps to want to track” privacy setting is turned off
The simplest explanation that you still can’t see the pop-ups is an option in the user’s privacy settings.
To check if this is the case, go to the Settings app and scroll down to “privacy”. Clicking “tracking” shows a screen that looks like the image below, with the option to turn “allow apps to track” on or off.
If the switch is off, applications will be prevented from sharing this device ID for advertisers or IDFAs with other applications and companies (unless the person has previously authorized certain applications to track them).
Simon Poulton, vice president of digital intelligence at digital marketing agency Wpromote, said that people who turned off this setting most likely included “ad tracking restrictions” in previous versions of iOS. According to him, the two settings are not the same thing, but are treated as such by Apple.
The previous setting was related to ad tracking, shading IDFA to soften ad tracking, but Transparency of application tracking is far broader and there are many factors here – I don’t think you can prove that opting out is the same thing, ”Poulton said.
“This is another screw” for players in the mobile advertising market, he said.
2. Some users may not have the option to enable “allow apps to request tracking”
Some people report that the “allow apps to request tracking” option is grayed out, making them unable to opt in to notifications.
Apple says on its support page that this will affect users under the age of 18 or devices with child accounts; Apple ID managed by an educational institution or other organization that restricts tracking; and Apple ID, created in the last three days.
However, Insider found at least two instances of users who did not fall into these categories but could not switch the setting. Mobile measurement company AppsFlyer said in a blog post last year that some people have managed to reset the switch by logging out of their iCloud accounts and logging in again.
3. Some applications have not yet launched the prompt
While many developers began serving the privacy pop-up as soon as the iOS 14.5 update was released on Monday, others waited a little longer.
“Some brands have decided not to show an ATT prompt at the first opening,” Poulton said. “You only have one shot,” to show the user the pop-up, he added, and some developers are waiting to see how things shake before continuing. However, this means that these applications will not have access to user IDFA in the meantime.
“After installing iOS 14.5, I was surprised at how few apps presented a pop-up,” said Aaron McKee, location chief technology officer at Blis, a location-focused advertising company that helps advertisers target users. “I haven’t seen one on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Snap, LinkedIn, Uber,
, Deliveroo, TripAdvisor or almost any other game or utility application I can find on my phone. “
McKee said that on Thursday, 30% of bids for iOS 14.5 on the Blis network arrived with IDFA, which means that these users have chosen tracking. But for the previous version of iOS, 89% had IDFA attached.
“Some users understand the exchange of value that exists between apps and publishers – sharing little (mostly pseudo-anonymous) data means apps can continue to provide free content,” McKee said. “It also seems that a significant cut does not want to be part of this exchange of value, and advertising and advertising companies need to ensure that they have a future-based confidential approach to reach their audience.”
Bonus: Users can check to see if they have chosen to receive “personalized ads” on Apple’s services
At the bottom of the iOS 14.5 privacy settings is an “Apple Advertising” page where people can choose whether Apple can show them “personalized ads” in the App Store, Apple News and the Stocks app. Apple is preparing to launch an ad format in the App Store, which offers applications that one would like to download.
Apple said it does not track users and that its own applications do not share advertising information with other applications and companies. However, the fact that Apple’s setup works on a denial basis and appears in a separate menu is a controversial topic among members of the mobile advertising community.
“This is certainly not impressed by the mobile advertising industry,” said Schumel Lais, CEO of the analytics platform Appsumer. “But in the end, Apple can get away with it because it can serve custom ads using its own attribution solution without having to expose user IDs to advertisers.”