It probably goes without saying that without apps, our smartphones wouldn’t be what they are today. However, the problem with a lot of free apps these days is that in order to make money, they rely on targeted advertising which is created using data collected from you. This can feel like a huge invasion of privacy for some.

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The good news is that if you own an iPhone that’s been updated to iOS 14.5, then you might have heard that Apple introduced a new privacy feature called App Tracking Transparency. This is basically a toggle that lets users decide if they want to allow apps to track them. This can be enabled system wide or you can choose to enable it on an app-by-app basis, and if you’re interested in protecting your privacy, then here’s what you need to do.

How To Turn On App Tracking Transparency

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Privacy > Tracking
  3. You should see a list of apps that may have already requested permission. If the toggle is green, it means you’ve granted that app permission to track you, so tap on the toggle to turn it off if you’ve changed your mind.
  4. Alternatively if you’d rather apps not track you at all and stop requesting to track, you can tap on the “Allow Apps to Request to Track” toggle and turn it off completely.
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It depends. Usually the reason apps track you is to collect data on your usage habits and patterns. Sometimes this is done to better understand the user and to improve the app, but usually it is done for advertising, so if you don’t like the idea of your data being sold to advertisers then you shouldn’t allow apps to track you.

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No. Preventing an app from not tracking you does not stop ads from showing. You will still see ads but since your personal data is no longer being collected, you might start seeing less relevant ads.

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No. There might be some apps that try to encourage you to turn on tracking, but it should be noted that Apple has already foreseen this coming. According to the company’s policy, they will ban apps that attempt to reward users for turning on tracking, which basically means that no, your apps will continue to work fine even after you’ve disabled tracking.

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According to a study conducted in May 2021, it seems that shortly after the iOS 14.5 update was released with App Tracking Transparency, Flurry Analytics found that 96% of iOS users have since opted out of tracking, suggesting that the vast majority of iOS users actually want their apps to stop tracking them.

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