How to Block App Tracking on iPhone & iPad
iPhone and iPad apps will now need permission from the user before they can use their data for targeted ads. This is a newer privacy feature from Apple, which has changed the way app developers access your data for delivering personalized ads to your device.
Most of us are probably familiar by now with how advertising works on the internet. You may have noticed how in-app ads and website ads are more relevant to your internet activity, for example maybe you saw shoe ads after shoe shopping online. These ads are tailored to you by using tracking cookies across the web. Although this is harmless most of the time, there are rare instances where your tracking data is abused and details are shared with third-party marketing research firms, which privacy advocates are not really a fan of. With iOS 14 and later, Apple wants to put privacy at the forefront and give users the option of whether they want to be tracked or not for displaying relevant ads in apps in iOS and iPadOS.
If you don’t care about personalized ads or would rather not see them, you can turn off tracking completely, as this article will demonstrate how to block app tracking on an iPhone or iPad.
How to Block App Tracking on iPhone or iPad
It goes without saying that your device needs to be running iOS 14/iPadOS 14 or later to take advantage of this privacy feature, as earlier releases do not have the capability. Assuming you’re on a modern system software version, here’s what to do:
- Head over to “Settings” from the home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
- In the settings menu, scroll down and tap on “Privacy” to adjust your privacy settings.
- Now, tap on “Tracking” located right below Location Services to proceed to the next step.
- Here, you’ll find the option “Allow Apps to Request to Track”. Set it to disabled and you’re good to go.
That’s pretty it, you’ve successfully blocked app tracking on the iPhone and iPad.
It’s worth noting that this feature hasn’t been implemented entirely yet as developers are working on making the necessary privacy changes to their apps. So the toggle may not do much depending on how old the apps are and if they support the feature yet. With that being said, when developers start asking for permission to track according to Apple’s guidelines, you will no longer get annoying pop-ups prompting you to allow them to track. Apps that don’t ask for permission will still be able to track you.
This is just one of the many privacy features that iOS 14 and newer brings to the table. If you’re a privacy buff, you may also be interested in the new Private Wi-Fi Address feature that allows you to use a different MAC address for each network, thereby preventing network operators and observers from tracking your network activity or access your location over time. And you can also use approximate location to further your location privacy on iPhone and iPad, check websites Privacy Report in Safari, and more. If you’re interested in privacy tips and tricks, check out our posts on the subject here.
Now you have learned how to avoid tracking permission pop-ups on your iPhone and iPad by disabling app tracking altogether, if you want to anyway. What’s your take on this privacy addition? Share any thoughts or relevant experiences, tips, or opinions in the comments.
“ Apps that don’t ask for permission will still be able to track you.”
It sounds like this only works for honest apps. Developers can just not ask permission?