Apple is delaying a massive iOS 14 privacy feature

One of Apple’s major iOS 14 pitches is the ability to opt-out of in-app tracking. It promises to be great news for privacy-focused users, but terrible news for advertisers who’d lose their ability to target those people based upon their activity.

Facebook is among those industry big hitters to kick-off about the policy (because, of course), just as people began to rejoice about an Instagram experience that didn’t feel quite so stalker-ish. Now, Apple has decided to delay the introduction of the feature until next year. The company says it is wants to give developers time to adjust to the changes.

Apps will still be required to get users’ permission to track them within the app, but the feature won’t roll out alongside iOS 14 this autumn. The company says it remains committed to the feature, despite the objection from the advertising industry.

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“We believe technology should protect users’ fundamental right to privacy, and that means giving users tools to understand which apps and websites may be sharing their data with other companies for advertising or advertising measurement purposes, as well as the tools to revoke permission for this tracking,” Apple wrote in a statement on its developer site on Thursday.

“When enabled, a system prompt will give users the ability to allow or reject that tracking on an app-by-app basis. We want to give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes, and as a result, the requirement to use this tracking permission will go into effect early next year.”

Last week, Facebook posted an update saying the update will have a big update on its advertising partners. Whether this delay will give those companies more chance to oppose Apple’s policy and whether Apple is willing to listen to the objections remains to be seen.

Facebook wrote: “We expect these changes will disproportionately affect Audience Network given its heavy dependence on app advertising. Like all ad networks on iOS 14, advertiser ability to accurately target and measure their campaigns on Audience Network will be impacted, and as a result publishers should expect their ability to effectively monetize on Audience Network to decrease. Ultimately, despite our best efforts, Apple’s updates may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14.”

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