Apple is letting users decide if they’re monitored by apps

iPhone Apps
(Image credit: Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash)

Apple's iOS 14.5 software update has made a significant change in how users are monitored thanks to the inclusion of a new privacy tool called App Tracking Transparency. This has the potential to put the power back into consumers hands; we can now decide whether or not apps monitor our data.

Whenever we launch an application on iPhone or iPad devices, a window will pop up that asks if we're okay with that app sharing information with third parties. This is a pretty significant change, as it could lessen privacy concerns that have come up over the past decade.

However, according to Brian Chen from the New York Times, this might just be a temporary solution. He spoke to privacy experts that claim advertisement companies could adapt to counteract this new feature and find ways around it. And even if an app can't share your data with third parties, it's possible these companies can find other ways to track you.

Apple is trying its best to reduce how often third parties track your device, but it's nearly impossible to block all of it. An advertisement firm will find any clever way to sell your data; it's terrifying, but there's nothing we can do it about according to Mike Audi, founder of an app called Tiki that attempts to monitor where an application is taking your data (or what it's doing with it).

However, this does give cause for Apple to take action against applications that are trying to shadily bypass these loopholes. If a user denies an application access to their data, and that application tries to take it anyway, Apple could theoretically bar the app from its store. 

Momo Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.