June 24, 2021

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Only 4% of iPhone users in the US let apps track them after iOS update

2 min read


Illustration from article titled Too Bad, Zuck: Only 4% of US iPhone Users Let Apps Track Them After iOS Update

Photo: Saul loeb (Getty Images)

Apple recently rolled out its much anticipated Application tracking transparency function with iOS 14.5, which allows users to decide whether apps track their activity for targeted advertising. The overwhelming majority of users seem happy to leave app tracking turned off. According to the latest data from the Verizon-owned analytics company, only 4% of iPhone users in the US have accepted app tracking after updating their device. Gust.

Globally, that number climbs to 12%, a healthy increase but still not good news for companies like Facebook that sell targeting to advertisers by sucking user data. With iOS 14.5, if a user has app tracking requests enabled, every time they download or update an app, they must request permission before they can track their activity. And it is clear that most of the users say, “No.”

Users who want to turn off tracking completely without denying permissions for each app individually can toggle “Allow apps to request tracking” in iPhone privacy settings. Since the update launched on April 26, data from Flurry shows that, on average, around 3% of US iOS users and 5% of international iOS users have restricted app tracking.

Flurry based his findings on a sample of 2.5 million daily active mobile users with iOS 14.5 in the United States and a sample of 5.3 million such users worldwide. According to the company, its analytics tool is installed in more than a million mobile apps and aggregates data from about 2 billion devices per month.

As a vocal opponent of Apple’s new feature, Facebook launched a vast alarmist campaign to convince users that these privacy measures are in fact a bad thing. Facebook took out several full-page ads arguing that Apple’s functionality would devastate small businesses that depend on its targeting ad services and warning that many free sites may have to start charging users money for it. subscriptions or in-app purchases. Other tech giants like Snapchat, Google and Twitter also stated that if the majority of users decide to forgo app tracking, it will likely affect their bottom line.

Granted, this data is only our first glimpse of user response. iOS 14.5 has only been out for a little under two weeks, and with more time we’ll likely have a better understanding of the average number of users opting in or off app tracking. But one thing is clear: people value their privacy. And if that means missing out on some personalized ads, well, a lot of people seem happy to make that sacrifice.



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