Apple's latest iOS 14.5, and iPadOS 14.5, introduced App Tracking Transparency. Apple states that App Tracking Transparency allows you to control which apps can track your activity across different companies' apps or websites. Apps will need to ask users if they are able to track them once this feature has been enabled.
You may still be unfamiliar with the tracking technology. Think about all the times you searched for a product you might need just once. Although you may have purchased the item, you will be bombarded with advertisements for similar products on Facebook and Instagram. Do you feel this is happening to you? Facebook and other companies use user data such as browsing history to provide "personalized" ads. Although this may sound fine at first, it can become tedious after you see 50 advertisements for toilet bowl cleaners.
App Tracking Transparency (or ATT) is a new feature in iOS, iPadOS and tvOS 14.5. It requires apps to ask permission to track your activity on other websites and apps. An "advertising ID" number is a unique number that Apple devices use to identify their device. This can be used for tracking and ad targeting. App developers can create detailed records of your iPhone and iPad usage by associating this identifier with other information.
All apps that use iOS 14.5 must follow the new App Tracking Transparency framework by Apple to ask you permission to track your movements. This does not apply to your activity other than company apps. Facebook can, for example, track your activity on Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp without you asking. However, if it wants information about your interactions with other apps or tracks you across different websites, it must request your permission.
Most iPhone and iPad users don't know that their activity is being tracked. Apps regularly track what they do on other websites or in other applications.
App Tracking Transparency is automatically enabled for all users once iOS 14.5 has been installed. Here's how to check if it is on or turn it off.
App Tracking Transparency will be enabled once the app launches. Apps that have met Apple's new guidelines will display a prompt next to launch the app. The prompt will ask for permission to track your activities across the app and other websites of the companies. You can choose to either allow or decline to allow the tracking.
All the apps that ask for permission to track your movements will be listed under the tracking section in Privacy.
You can toggle the permission for each app you choose if you have previously refused to allow them to track your data.
App tracking transparency is a way to prevent an app from monitoring your iPhone activity across all apps. It doesn't prevent apps from collecting information directly from you in-app and then selling it to advertisers.
You can use privacy labels to find out what an app knows about you. Search for the app you are looking for in the App Store. After you have found it, tap it to go to the App Privacy section. All data categories that can be "linked to your identity" through the app will be displayed.