Why Apple’s Privacy Protection Feature is Causing Such a Fuss

Story Highlights
  • What did Apple do this time?
  • And What Came of it?

Apple’s decision to allow iOS users to opt-out of app tracking was welcomed with open arms by techies around the world concerned about the breaches of privacy that many apps commit for the sake of targeted advertisement. However, the company has landed in hot water as it was recently discovered that app tracking was never disabled for Apple’s own apps.

What did Apple do this time?

Security researchers at the software company Musk claimed to have found evidence that opting out of the “Allow apps to request to track” setting in iOS does not apply to stock apps.

These are anti-tracking settings built into the latest version of iOS to prevent apps from tracking personal user data for targeted advertising or potentially more nefarious reasons.

According to the report, the apps harvested various data such as user taps, apps searched for and viewed ads, and how much time was spent on each application. This is only a fraction of what

the App Store has harvested. The Stocks app has sent Apple a list of viewed stocks or searched for along with timestamps and the record of articles read on the app. Most concerning, though, is that details like ID numbers, device model, screen resolution, keyboard languages, and internet connection types may also be accessed.

And What Came of it?

Understandably, iOS users were upset by this discovery, especially considering that many of these users prefer Apple over Android because of the privacy protection that Apple has been known for providing. Elliot Libman, an iPhone 13 user, filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the corporation of “utterly false” assurances that users have control of what information they share when using an iPhone.

The complaint further reads: “Apple records, tracks, collects, and monetizes analytics data… Even when consumers follow Apple’s instructions and turn off “Allow Apps to Request to Track” on their privacy control.”

Nevertheless, issues such as these are not uncommon for a corporation on the scale of Apple. It is highly unlikely that Apple has not already covered and accounted for this possibility in the end-user agreements for these features. This shows that one must take great care regarding data privacy in today’s world.

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