Only a tiny proportion of iOS users let apps track them

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App Tracking Transparency will be part of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5. It’s already showing up in betas.
App Tracking Transparency is here -- and users seem to be responding.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency feature looks surprisingly popular with users — and potentially devastating to advertising. According to analysis by Flurry, just 4% of U.S. users allow apps to track them when given a choice.

The new privacy feature, rolled out in iOS 14.5 in late April, requires developers to ask for permission to use Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers tag to track users’ movements across websites and third-party apps. Flurry’s stats indicate a massive 96 out of 100 users in the United States denied that permission.

App Tracking Transparency makes Chinese tech giant Alibaba worry

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Alibaba
Alibaba is a giant in the world of e-commerce.
Photo: Markus Winkler/Unsplash CC

It’s not just U.S. tech giants that fear iOS 14.5’s new App Tracking Transparency feature. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, with a market cap of $646.84 billion, is supposedly very worried, just like Facebook.

A report from The Information says Alibaba invited half a dozen marketing execs to its Hangzhou headquarters to discuss how to react to the new feature, which stops apps from tracking users across websites and third-party apps.

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App Tracking Transparency will be part of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5. It’s already showing up in betas.
Developers get to say when the feature goes live. But there's a catch.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Apple accused of using app-tracking crackdown to sell ads

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Apple.logo.paris.store
Apple stands to increase ad revenue from recent changes.
Photo: Josh Davidson for Cult of Mac

Apple is being accused of engaging in sneaky behavior when it comes to its advertising strategy. According to a Wall Street Journal report, advertisers who are targeting iPhone users say they will “get more data about ad performance if they buy Apple’s ad space than if they buy through third parties.”

iOS 14.5 offers new privacy oriented features that let users opt out of tracking for personalized ads. However, Apple also sells ads itself in the App Store, News, and Stocks. It has recently been bolstering its efforts in this department.

New iOS 14.5 emoji will set your heart on fire [Updated]

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Look forward to some fun new emoji in iOS 14.5.
The release of iOS 14.5 gives iPhone and iPad users access to some fun new emoji.
Photo: Emojipedia/Cult of Mac

The fresh emoji appearing in iOS 14.5 will set your heart afire. Or at least let you show that in texts. The new collection of pictographs also includes some new faces, and plenty of additional variations to show how we couple up in the 21st century.

iPad users get the same emoji thanks to iPadOS 14.5 and macOS 11.3, which also launched on Monday.

How to stop apps from tracking you in iOS 14.5

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How to allow/prevent apps tracking you
Thanks to App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14.5, it’s up to your to decide whether third-party applications track you.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

iPhone and iPad just got a significant new privacy protection, preventing third-party apps from tracking you without permission. App Tracking Transparency debuted in iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5.

Here’s how to use it. And what to do about all the popups asking, “Allow [THIS APP] to track your activity?”

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App Tracking Transparency will be part of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5. It’s already showing up in betas.
Developers need to get their software ready for App Tracking Transparency. iPhone and iPad will soon prevent apps from tracking users without permission.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Tim Cook says Apple is committed to AR, TV+ and privacy but not to Apple Car

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Tim Cook with MacBook at One More Thing event 2020
In a wide-ranging interview with the NYT, Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about privacy, AR, the Apple Car and Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple

It’s never easy to get Apple’s CEO to talk about the future. But Kara Swisher from The New York Times managed to get Tim Cook to drop a few hints about some of the company’s future plans.

Cook says Apple is committed to Apple TV+. And to user privacy. But he’s not promising that the Apple Car will ever be real.

China works to circumvent iOS 14.5’s App Tracking Transparency

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Your iPhone will soon offer a bit more privacy.
Apple is making it tougher for apps to track users.
Graphic: Apple

China’s state-backed China Advertising Association is already looking for ways to get around Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

The organization’s approach reportedly involves something called a “CAID.” This can supposedly act as an alternative means of tracking users to the iPhone’s ad identifier, or IDFA. TikTok parent company ByteDance issued a guide for app developers that describes how marketers “can use CAID as a substitute if the user’s IDFA is unavailable.”

How to stop Apple from targeting you with personalized ads

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Ads everywhere
Apple targets users with personalized ads, too.
Photo: Jo San Diego/Unsplash CC

A French lobbyist group is accusing Apple of hypocrisy over new privacy measures in iOS 14, which make it harder for other companies to track users. Why? Because Apple also operates a feature called Personalized Advertising, which capitalizes on user data to display targeted ads within apps.

Want to stop Apple from targeting you with personalized ads? Here’s how you do it. (And everything else you need to know about the new complaint.)