Apple has postponed the introduction of stricter privacy rules in iOS 14.
The company had announced a change that would have meant app developers would have to ask users for permission to track them for advertising purposes.
Apple has now made an about turn, announcing in a developer update that it has decided to postpone the request for permission.
In the post Apple states: "To give developers time to make necessary changes, apps will be required to obtain permission to track users starting early next year."
It is likely that this deadline change follows talks with a number of major game developers, including Activision, Blizzard and Supercell, according to The Information.
There are two codes: the IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) is a randomly generated ID code that is associated with your device and used to track you so that apps can display targeted advertising.
The other code, IDFV (Identifier for Vendor), is used to enable ad-funded apps to track, for example, when a user installs an app after clicking on an ad banner in another app.
At WWDC Apple announced that in iOS 14 developers must explicitly ask users for permission to use the IDFA code.
App developers will still being able to collect anonymous statistics to, for example, analyse usage patterns without specifically asking permission.
You can already restrict tracking to stop all apps from accessing the code if you go to Settings > Privacy > Advertising and enable Limit Ad Tracking, but it’s likely that few people have done this. In iOS 14 iPhone users will be alerted to the tracking and will have to agree to it, as a result many developers expressed concerns that the change will catastrophically reduce their advertising revenue as few users are expected to say yes.
Facebook has been particularly vocal about its dismay about the new feature. It has posted on a number of occasions in the past few days, for example, in a blog post to external developers the social network warned that advertising revenues could fall by 50 percent on account of the change. Indicating that some iOS 14 users would not even get any advertising. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has called the App Store and its rules user-hostile (although perhaps it’s not hostile to users but advertisers and those who profit from their spend).
Developers are supposed to inform users about how their data will be used when they install their apps. Apparently one in three App Store developers is lying to customers.
Here's some advice about protecting your privacy on the iPhone. In related news, it's since been revealed that Apple has been working on a new DNS technology called Oblivious, which will protect user privacy by making it harder to track them online.