Privacy is something that nobody wants to sacrifice in the digital age. However, there are more than enough instances when users sacrifice their privacy for the greater good. An individual spends a lot of time and effort to build their identity, and securing it has become crucial.
Keeping the increasing concern about privacy in mind, Apple introduced a new feature with iOS 14.5, App Tracking Transparency. It provides users the authority to manage the app permissions regarding tracking.
This feature soon became the most praised initiative towards security and privacy that a company took. Additionally, many smartphone manufacturers have started developing more secure software for their operating systems.
This article has elaborated on who to enable this feature in iPhones and how it helps the users.
What is App Tracking Transparency Feature in iOS?
App Tracking Transparency is a new security add-on in iOS that allows users to see the information about the apps tracking activity on an iOS device. It is designed to keep privacy concerns on a priority basis.
The App Tracking Transparency Feature allows you to view and control which of the apps use the location of your iPhone/iPad while running in the background.
While some applications will ask for permission when they need it, many apps don’t even inform or warn you before accessing this data, like the camera and maps app. You can check all this information by using this feature within your iPhone. There you can select the apps which can track you and which cannot.
Moreover, it has been embedded perfectly with the user interface, and whenever an app uses any of the services, a small notification dot appears on the top right corner. A green dot appears when your iPhone uses the camera, and a light orange dot appears when the microphone is in use.
How to Access App Tracking Transparency Feature?
This feature is already embedded within iOS 14.5 and above, so no extra effort is needed to activate it. There are no additional steps required; update your device with the latest version of iOS available for your device.
After the phone is updated, go to Settings > Privacy > Tracking.
Once the Tracking menu opens, you will see a list of all the tracking-enabled apps installed on your iPhone/iPad. Tap on any app you want to disable from accessing data and turn off its ability to track data. You can also make it stop sending anonymous analytics data by turning off the Share iPhone Analytics option under Analytics & Improvements.
Moreover, this feature was not working efficiently on many devices, but with the recent updates, it is performing well.
Benefits of Disabling App Tracking on Your iPhone
The feature ensures that you know which app is tracking your location, thus empowering users to make an informed decision about whether they want to allow it or not. For example, if you don’t want Facebook tracking your location, you can disable it from this transparency report. Other benefits are as follows:
- Better battery. Apps running in the background do eat up a lot of battery, and by disabling them, you can improve your battery life.
- No more targeted ads. Most apps track users’ location and other activities to serve them personalized ads, which are annoying for everyone. By turning off app tracking, you will stop seeing such ads on your device.
- Fewer distractions. Some applications keep sending advertisements and notification alerts even if they are not opened on your phone. With the Tracking Transparency feature enabled, you can easily check which apps are causing these unwanted problems. You can solve the issue by disabling the app tracking feature for that particular app.
Moreover, this feature allows you to view which of your apps are tracking your location in real-time. This way, you can get more information about everything that happens on your phone, and you will be able to check whether something fishy or suspicious is taking place or not.
You can also see this data by going to Settings > Privacy > Analytics, where it will display all your tracked apps with their respective permissions.
Can You Choose the Data That an App Can Track?
Unfortunately, no. You can only allow an app to track your outside activity entirely or not at all right now. There may be a later update that will let you choose where applications may follow you and what data they may collect, but for the time being, it’s all or nothing.
However, there is a choice in allowing certain apps to observe you and others not to do so. Additionally, you can hide certain details by using a free VPN service. A Virtual Private Network encrypts your internet traffic and masks your IP address. Thus, these changes prevent online entities from learning about your online behavior. Additionally, it conceals your location, which can be read from your IP address.
The iOS app tracking blocker is already available for iPhones with the latest version of iOS installed. Many tech companies and users admired Apple a lot for providing this feature to their users. Also, various other manufacturers got inspired and started focusing on user privacy.
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