Important Privacy Changes In Apple’s iOS 14.5 – Developers Now Need Your Permission To Track You

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Apple is a customer-centric organization that takes its customer’s security and privacy with great concern. And that is why perhaps we find more apps embedded with malware on the App Store than the Google Play Store. To enhance their security and privacy policy, Apple will be introducing two new major changes on iOS 14.5. The 7th beta version of this update has already been released to developers which means that this update is just around the corner.

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Image Credits: Apple

The major changes that we are about to see now were revealed by Apple during the Worldwide Developer Conference last year. These changes were the “Privacy Nutrition Labels” and the “App Tracking Transparency”.

Privacy Nutrition Labels

This change has already started reflecting on the App Store as all the developers are supposed to update their apps. These labels are important because it forces the developers to reveal if any information would be collected by a particular app, what would be collected and how & where the data would be used. Hence Apple users need to read and understand this information before downloading/installing any app.

In other words, you cannot blame Apple for any app that collects your information as this detail has already been specified.

App Tracking Transparency

The next change that is going to feature in iOS 14.5 update is another way to safeguard the privacy of Apple users. This feature requires every developer to request permission from the user before they can track them. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook said that ATT is coming in “just a few weeks now. Probably more important than when it arrives, is what it’s meant to do.”

This change has been criticized by Facebook as it will have a major effect on the advertising industry. However, Apple remains firm on its stand against apps that track user data and information.  It also believes that most users do not have a clue about their information being collected and used and this feature will educate every user in the process. The process is going to be very simple as the users would receive a simple pop-up asking them about the tracking permissions. If the users reply positively then things go on as they did but if chosen otherwise the tracking would turn off concerning a particular app only.

Bonus Feature: iPhone Unlock with Apple Watch

Apple watch
Image Courtesy: Apple

Another feature that can be pretty useful to the situation the world is facing on a global level is unlocking your iPhone with Apple Watch. Users with FaceID activated cannot unlock their iPhone if they are wearing a mask. Hence, Apple will be introducing a new feature via iOS 14.5 update which when detects that the user is wearing a mask, will search for an Apple Watch nearby. If this Apple Watch is within range and has been unlocked by your iPhone even once then it will unlock the iPhone instantly.

To summarize, I think both the major changes of Privacy Nutrition Labels and App Tracking Transparency are two sides of the same coin which is to improve the privacy of the users by taking their permission to collect data and informing them as to how this information will be used. This gives Apple users control over their personal information which should not have been collected in the first place.

However, although Apple will be rolling out this feature soon, the real protection of your private information is in your hands for you will have to read the labels before granting developers, any sort of permission to collect your data. This update will be applicable on all new apps and will be implacable on already existing apps when they release an update. Let us see how Google responds to this new policy and wait until it applies a similar set of rules on Its Play Store.

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