Study Shows Majority Of iPhone Users Don't Allow App Tracking

Turns out, privacy is pretty important to people

Since April's iOS 14.5 update, 95% of iPhone users have turned on the new App Tracking Transparency feature. 

According to Flurry Analytics, a media group owned by Verizon Media, only 5% of iOS users in the U.S. actually allowed app-tracking as of May 7. In comparison, 13% of users worldwide still opted to allow app tracking on their iPhones. 

using an iPhone in the dark

Oscar Wong

The study also shows that, when apps send user requests asking permission to track their data, few people are allowing them to do so. In the U.S., 3% of users have allowed apps to continue tracking, compared to 5% worldwide. 

The App Tracking Transparency feature allows you to turn on or off apps’ abilities to constantly track you behind the scenes. Many experts are urging people to turn off app tracking, some even calling the feature "the most significant improvement in digital privacy in the history of the internet."

As part of iOS 14.5, the feature now automatically pops up when you download a new app and asks if you'd like to turn off tracking for the app or allow it. You can change the settings for apps already downloaded on your phone by going to the Tracking section under your phone's privacy settings, where you can permit tracking or remove tracking permission for each specific app.

While Apple is the only company that has implemented this kind of feature that prioritizes user’s app data privacy, Google recently announced it plans to do something similar starting next year. 

Google will add a new safety section within the Google Play store to give Android users greater insight into how their smartphone apps use their personal data. The new policy that will officially begin in the spring of 2022 will require developers to disclose what type of data is collected and stored within their apps and how that data is used. 

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