Why App Tracking Tranparency is necessary
With the release of iOS 14.5, Apple released a new feature called App Tracking Transparency that allows users to opt in or out of being tracked across devices. While companies like Facebook & Google fight this tooth and nail, it is important to understand what exactly has changed. In short, Apple has changed its policy to prevent developers from tracking you across applications if the user has asked them not to do so.
If this tracking was being used strictly for advertising, I might feel less strongly about this, however most of what being done is nothing short of psychological manipulation to keep you using devices for longer, to profile you better, and subsequently sell your information to more easily to interested parties. The interested parties here being mostly advertisers however, this profiling. Leads to very targeted ads, news, and recommendations.
Ultimately, the more information a company harbors about you, the easier it is for them to serve as confirmation bias for your thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. The danger is exactly that this information might perpetuate some misinformation that you or I hold to be true. This will inevitably lead to violence, hate, and ignorance because we only see what data brokers want us to see.
As a kid & teen, I loved technology because of the possibilities it presented. I loved video games because to me it was like entering a new world I could explore and enjoy. In high school, my computer education teacher was die hard Apple fan. He was proud of the iMac G3s we had in the class because even though they weren’t the latest and greatest tech, they just worked. I have been on the Apple bandwagon ever since and I never would have thought that one of the biggest "products" in tech would be the information of the people that use it. Many people have accused Apple as saying the argument is hypocritical of a company that has such tight control over their devices to say that their devices need to give customers a choice on privacy. I understand this argument, however you do make a choice when you decide to buy an iPhone or iPad. Prior to this, you did not have a choice about whether you were being tracked or not at all. Whether you are on an iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, iPad, or any other device, you were being monitored and tracked.
This is a step in the right direction, technology can be so much more than what we're making of it now. Let's get back to creating great apps and services instead of data profiling.
See the gif below for how to disable app tracking across all apps.
Disabling tracking in iOS is as easy as Settings -> Privacy -> Tracking
As always, thanks for reading!
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