What the Tech? Using “Do Not Track” on iPhones
It’s been a little over a month since Apple users began using iOS 14.5 and a new option that lets them choose whether they want to be tracked online by the apps they download.
“Ask App to Track” is a pop-up that appears on the screen when a user downloads a new app or when
opening the app after an update.
According to the Wall Street Journal, so many iPhone users have chosen to opt-out of tracking advertisers are now pulling money out of iOS and spending more on Android devices. Many recent surveys reveal over 75% of iPhone users have opted out of tracking.
What does that mean?
Many free apps such as Facebook and Instagram earn revenue by tracking what users do on their phones. The data includes websites they visit, games they play, and things they search for.
That data is then made available to advertisers who want to reach potential customers. So when a business or ad agency buys ads on Facebook, they can target users by age, gender, location, interests and other information gathered from the data.
Without the ability to track, those apps cannot charge as much for those advertisements. A business might not be interested in spending $1,000 to reach 3 million people as they would be to spend $1,000 to reach local and interested customers.
Facebook notified users of its app and Instagram that by opting out of tracking they’d be hurting small businesses. Facebook also claimed it might have to start charging people to use Facebook and Instagram.
Apple’s in business to sell devices and believes a big selling point for iPhones, iPads, and Macs is privacy and security for its users. Google and Facebook earn most of their revenue through ads and search.
It’s important to note that Facebook can still track you online from your computer or with Android phones. And even if you ask apps to not track you on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll still see advertisements, they may just not be for anything you’re interested in.
Armed with that information, should you ask apps not to track you? If you’re concerned about keeping your activity private, you’ve already made the decision.