Apple’s App Tracking Transparency policy is unsurprisingly hurting platforms that track you

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency policy is unsurprisingly hurting platforms that track you

Apple announced last year a new privacy-focused setting for iOS users called App Tracking Transparency (ATT). This policy — which went into effect in April — forces app developers to ask for users’ permissions when they want to track them for advertising purposes. So now all active apps have to request approval before being able to track people across other apps and websites. Otherwise, they will get kicked out of the App Store. A report reveals that this policy has cost social media platforms around $10 billion in revenue, unsurprisingly.

According to The Verge, an investigation by The Financial Times has revealed to what extent the new ATT policy has been hurting social media platforms. Services like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube heavily depend on advertising to remain free-to-use. Considering many users opt out of being tracked, ads are becoming less relevant and aren’t reaching the precise audience. This change has cost said platforms around $9.85 billion in revenue — so far.

Facebook criticized Apple’s move last December by posting full-page newspaper ads. According to FT’s report, they also have lost the most money “in absolute terms”. It will take at least one year to rebuild a new advertising system that doesn’t depend on tracking users across other apps and websites. Companies will have to either focus on targeting Android users or find more creative ways to target iPhone users without tracking them through the usual methods.

It’s worth noting that when users toggle tracking off in Privacy settings, apps can’t even request the permission to track them or provide an explanation as to why they need to follow them around. Apple also bans apps from compensating users who agree to get tracked. So apps can’t trick or tempt users into agreeing in return for digital goods. The tech giant has been focusing on user privacy and security features lately. Just last week, the company released its App Privacy Report feature in the first beta of iOS 15.2. This exposes the privacy-related practices of all apps installed on an iPhone.

Do you allow apps to track you to get more relevant ads? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached via [email protected] or the provided social links.