One of the privacy features Apple introduced to iOS is called App Tracking Transparency where they give users the option of opting out of being tracked by apps. It’s a toggle that when enabled, will basically block apps from tracking your data across multiple platforms, thus making it less invasive.
However, it turns out that despite opting out, there are still some apps that are apparently tracking users. This is according to a report from the Financial Times (paywall) in which they claim that apps such as Facebook and Snapchat have found ways to track users, despite the fact that users have opted out of being tracked.
Apparently how they are doing it is by taking advantage of a loophole in Apple’s guidelines. According to the guidelines, it says that app developers “may not derive data from a device for the purpose of uniquely identifying it,” so what some developers have done is to collect anonymized signals of groups of users, instead of personal, identifiable data, which ultimately still allows them to adhere to the rules set out by Apple.
Companies like Facebook had previously complained about this privacy feature, claiming that it would somehow end up hurting small businesses in the process, but if this report is true, it looks like they might have found a way around it. We’re not sure if Apple will update its rules to close this loophole, but hopefully for the sake of privacy, they will.