iOS 14 App Tracking Transparency will go live in ‘early spring’

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Your iPhone will soon offer a bit more privacy.
New feature will go live soon.
Graphic: Apple

The App Tracking Transparency feature in iOS 14, which will clue users in on when and how apps are snooping on them, will go live in “early spring,” Apple said Thursday.

Apple revealed the tidbit in a document titled “A Day in the Life of Your Data” (.pdf), released to mark Data Privacy Day.

Apple writes:

“Starting soon, with our next beta update, App Tracking Transparency will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies. Under Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track so they can make changes as they see fit. This requirement will roll out broadly in early spring with an upcoming release of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14, and has already garnered support from privacy advocates around the world.”

App Tracking Transparency

Apple originally planned to debut the disruptive feature when iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 launched in September. However, the company delayed the rollout of App Tracking Transparency to allow developers “the time they need to make the necessary changes” to their apps. As a result, Apple said the tracking permissions would go into widespread usage “early” in 2021.

Spring officially commences March 20 and runs through June 20. That means that the feature is still at couple of months from launching. That’s despite the fact that iOS 14 developer betas contain evidence of App Tracking Transparency.

Facebook already slammed Apple for the forthcoming feature. In a pair of ads that appeared in major newspapers, Facebook said Apple’s anti-personalized ad strategy could hurt small businesses. (Along, of course, with advertising-reliant giants like Facebook itself.)

Do you view Apple’s new anti-tracking feature as a positive? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.