Apple Delays Debut Of Anti-Tracking Tool Until Early Next Year

Apple’s decision to delay the debut of its anti-tracking feature in the next operating system should be interpreted as forgoing its plans.

The company outlined the decision on Thursday to delay the launch or the anti-tracking tool until early next year. The Apple iOS 14 update will launch as scheduled.

Apple expects to release the service as a free software upgrade to roughly a billion iPhone users this month. The upgrade to the free software will have the option to block tracking, but the company now says it will hold back the release of the tool until early next year.

“At Apple, we believe that privacy is a fundamental human right,” the company wrote in a blog post. “As announced at WWDC20, App Store product pages will feature a new privacy information section to help users understand an app’s privacy practices.”

On each app’s product page later this year, users will have an option to learn about some of the data types the app may collect, and whether that data is linked to them or used to track them.



Developers of the apps will need to provide information about the app’s privacy practices, including the practices of third-party partners whose code is integrated into the app, in App Store Connect starting this fall.

Apple will require app developers to know the types of data they and their third-party partners collect from the app before answering the questions in App Store Connect. The data includes names, emails, phone numbers, physical addresses, health or media data, payment information and more.

“Collect” refers to transmitting data off the device in a way that allows the developer and third-party partners to access it, according to Apple

“Third-party partners” refers to analytics tools, advertising networks, third-party SDKs, or other external vendors whose code has been added to the app.

Apple also wants developers to understand how each data type is used. For example collecting email addresses and using it to authenticate the user and personalize the experience in the app.

When it comes to tracking, developers will need to understand whether they or third-party partners use data from the app to track users and if so, which data is used for this purpose.

Examples of tracking include sharing the device location or email lists with a data broker, or displaying targeted advertisements in the app based on user data collected from apps and websites owned by other companies.

Privacy links also will be required. Apple wants developers to add a URL to their publicly accessible privacy policy, and include a place where users can learn more about their privacy choices for apps.


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