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Apple may delay one privacy feature planned for iOS 14

When Apple previewed iOS 14 in June, the tech giant said that all apps would be required to obtain user permission before tracking and that, eventually, App Store product pages will feature summaries of developers’ self-reported privacy practices.

However, Apple has told some developers that it plans to delay the enforcement of a controversial change to its next mobile operating system that would “upend how ads are targeted on iPhones and iPads,” reports The Information. The kerfuffle involves developers having to ask users to share their device’s unique identifier for advertising purposes through a prompt. 

The Information says that many developers and advertisers rely on this identifier, or IDFA, to track the effectiveness of their ad campaigns in mobile apps, particularly for ads that prompt the viewer to download a specific app or game. The article adds that if Apple does decide to delay, the anti-tracking features could be held until next year.

Eric Seufert, an ads industry analyst, said it “simply wasn’t possible for developers to adapt their advertising infrastructure” to Apple’s proposed IDFA change in time for the public release of ‌iOS 14‌, which Apple usually makes available in September. He told The Information that delaying enforcement of the new IDFA prompt “the right thing for Apple to do, even if those privacy restrictions are well intentioned and ultimately best for consumers.”

In July, a group of European digital advertising associations criticized Apple’s plans to require apps to seek additional permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites, reported Reuters. Sixteen marketing associations — some of which are backed by Facebook and Alphabet’s Google — criticizedApple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user consent under European privacy rules, the article adds.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.