Stats Prove Very few iPhone users opted-in to get tracked. Sorry Facebook…

by Joseph K. Clark

With the arrival of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced the most noticeable change around privacy regarding apps listed on its app repository. Called App Tracking Transparency, it’s a framework that makes it mandatory for apps to ask iPhone users for permission to track them, a process that would allow ad-tracking. Or in simple works, serving them targeted ads. Well, it appears that the latest privacy policy change has the effect many predicted – not many people are okay with being tracked!

iPhone users

As per insights collected by Flurry Media, merely 4% of users in the United States opted-in for being tracked by apps in the second week after iOS 14.5’s release. In the first week, that number stood even lower. In addition, barely 3% of users agreed to restricted app tracking, which means these apps cannot ask users to track them. On a worldwide scale, the daily opt-in rate for app ad-tracking stands at approximately 12% in the second week following the iOS 14. 5 updates. Just in case you’re wondering, the data is based on sampling roughly 2.5 million iPhone users.

So, what does it have to do with Facebook?

Well, Facebook posed the biggest challenge to Apple’s proposed move months ago, despite facing criticism from within. The company even launched a massive campaign that sent out the idea that the App Store changes have less to do with privacy and are more concerned with profits. Facebook even called Apple a competitor using its control over the entire ecosystem to stifle competition and choke their ad revenue. And on top of it, Facebook also came forward with another effective campaign that claimed that Apple’s move would seriously hurt small businesses.

On the other hand, Apple was unwilling to budge and countered that users should have a choice whether they want to be served ads after being tracked. Following Facebook’s offensive, Apple threatened that apps that don’t abide by the new App Store policies will risk getting kicked off from the app repository. Now that iOS 14.5 has enforced the App Tracking Transparency framework and users are actually opting out of being tracked, Facebook (and Instagram) are sending signals that ad-tracking is what keeps these services accessible and that they might be charged for using it shortly.

Nadeem Sarwar

I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.

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