When Apple first announced the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature, the move was largely appreciated by the privacy community – and not quite so by Facebook. Now, a brief while after the release of iOS 14.5, bringing ATT to iOS devices, a report by Flurry Analytics states that up to 96 percent of all users are already disabling app tracking on iPhones in USA. On a global level, the statistics say that the rate of users that have already disabled app tracking on their iPhones is already up to 88 percent. The data has been collated from a sample size of about 2.5 million users in USA, and 5.3 million users around the world.
App Tracking Transparency is meant to alert users when an app attempts to track their activity, not within the app itself but beyond the app. Many apps have steadily turned to using various cookie tracking tools, such as the Facebook Pixel, to track users across the internet. This helps major tech companies such as Facebook and Google track users across the internet, recording various parameters such as the kind of content being read, shopping sites being visited, as well as potentially sensitive topics such as healthcare, religion and others.
In response to Apple’s move, Facebook has consistently raised its voice, stating that Apple’s apparent privacy move will be a major bane for businesses that rely on targeted advertisements to earn more revenues. On this note, Facebook had sounded a note of concern stating that Apple taking away the ability for services to track user activities to sell ads will leave them only with non-contextual ads to deliver, therefore significantly lowering the revenues that they can earn.
Given the initial usage trends that Flurry Analytics is showing, it would so appear that Apple is garnering enough users who are making the most of the app tracking feature. Apple typically leaves app tracking disabled by default, which requires users to then enable alerts to then sanction users to track activity. Given that the feature has just rolled out, the adoption rates will be interesting to observe in the coming months.