Apple has announced that the new rules for tracking users in apps and websites that were promised this summer will come into force "early this spring".

The implementation has previously been postponed a couple of times to give developers more time to customise their apps and sites.

The new rules have received criticism almost exclusively from companies that make a living from tracking for advertising purposes - with Facebook at the forefront. Google, meanwhile, has announced that it won't seek tracking permission for its apps, choosing instead to stop using the IDFA code (and, presumably, relying on other tracking methods).

Apple points out that the rules do not prohibit tracking, but only mean that users themselves must decide whether they want to be tracked or not.

Apple has also published a new guide entitled "A day in the life of your data" which explains how tracking is done, with examples of how personal data is collected and then used to show, for example, targeted advertising.

According to Apple, the rule change for tracking will begin to be tested on a broad front in the next beta update of iOS 14, i.e. version 14.5.

Tim Cook will speak at the EU Data Protection Conference, which is also being held on 28 January.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by Karen Haslam.