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Apple’s software engineering chief Craig Federighi has warned developers to “play by the rules” as they relate to Apple’s upcoming anti-tracking policy for iOS 14, or their apps could be removed from the App Store.
Starting early next year, iOS 14 will require apps to get opt-in permission from users to collect their random advertising identifier, which advertisers use to deliver personalized ads and track how effective their campaigns were. While it was originally supposed to arrive with iOS 14 earlier this year, Apple postponed the feature until early 2021 to give developers more time to accommodate it.
Major app developers and ad networks like Facebook have since spoken out against the feature, claiming that Apple’s anti-tracking efforts are anticompetitive and will impact small businesses. Apple says that it is concerned about users being tracked without their consent and having their data bundled and resold by advertising networks. Tracking across apps and websites owned by multiple companies and data sold by data brokers can be “invasive and “creepy,” according to Apple.
Although Apple has delayed introduction of the new policy, all apps will be expected to abide by Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Rules once they come into effect. Speaking to The Telegraph, Federighi said:
“There will be policy enforcement. Any form or mechanism of tracking a user for advertising or for providing information to data brokers will have to ask for permissions. Failure to do so is a violation of App Store policy… and are grounds for having an app removed.”
Federighi also emphasized that Apple expects advertisers to adapt to the change, and suggested that social media platforms had no choice but to conform to the new policy: “The largest players understand they have to play by the rules here,” he told The Telegraph, adding that despite inevitable “spirited debate,” he believed they would work to find a solution.