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Apple made big changes in iOS 14.5 recently to give users control over whether or not they want to be tracked. Developers now have to ask explicit permission before tracking users for things like targeted adverts.
The move has been publicly criticized by Facebook and others who rely on targeted advertising to make money. But, unsurprisingly, the early stats indicate that the vast majority of users are glad to be given the choice.
According to analytics from Flurry, just 4% of users in the US have opted into tracking. That number rises somewhat to 12% when you take the entire world into account, but Americans in particular seem unwilling to give permission to be tracked. And we don’t blame them.
Some people will actively prefer targeted ads and think the trade-off is worth it; others will opt into tracking only for specific developers who have earned their trust; but the vast majority, it seems, want no part of it.
The figures may shift once more people install iOS 14.5 and are shown the tracking permission prompts for the first time. We suspect a large portion of that 96% won’t have explicitly opted out, but rather not made any decision at all yet.
It’s further proof that this is a huge decision by Apple that will likely reshape the advertising industry permanently. Google, a company that itself is responsible for a great deal of the internet’s tracking, data collection, and targeted advertising, is even following Apple’s lead and making app privacy labels mandatory on the Android Play Store from next year.
Could there be a time where Google shifts its entire business model and implements even more tracking transparency measures?
Apple is certainly leading the way when it comes to privacy, but as it becomes a bigger talking about and a more important factor when consumers make purchases, it will be harder and harder for the other tech giants to ignore it.