iOS 14 privacy tracking feature rolls out for iOS 14.4 beta users

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During the WWDC 2020 keynote, Apple doubled down on its commitment to privacy.
This is the latest implementation of Apple's privacy ambitions.
Photo: Apple

The iOS 14 privacy feature that lets users know which apps are tracking them — and how — has started rolling out for beta users on certain apps.

Apple first showed off the new privacy labels at this year’s virtual Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple asked that, starting early this month, developers submit information to Apple concerning the type of data their apps collect on users.

This data is then used to create nutrition label-type categories that let users easily understand how they are being monitored. It means that, the first time users open an app, they will be alerted regarding this information. This can be used to help decide whether to use a certain app or how to decide sharing settings.

It is likely that the feature will arrive more broadly with the public release of iOS 14.4 early next year. However, ahead of this, some users of the iOS 14.4 beta have reported seeing the notifications, MacRumors revealed.

The privacy feature would have arrived with iOS 14 when it first shipped. But Apple gave developers more time to “make the necessary changes” to their apps. As a result, Apple said the feature would only “go into effect early next year.”

iOS 14.4 privacy tracking feature

The privacy feature hasn’t won Apple friends in certain places. Facebook in particular claims the feature will hurt small businesses (and itself). That’s because it will make it tougher to do the kind of data-driven personalized advertising that brings in much of Facebook’s revenue. The social media giant bought two full-page ads in major newspapers to criticize Apple’s move.

Are you happy to see Apple introducing this feature to iOS 14? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.