Report: 96% of iOS 14.5 users in the US are blocking ad tracking

Report: 96% of iOS 14.5 users in the US are blocking ad tracking
Ryan is an editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter: @Gadget_Ry

According to a new report, around 96 percent of iOS users in the US are using Apple’s new privacy feature to block ad tracking.

Starting with iOS 14.5, apps that wish to track users for advertising purposes must ask for explicit user consent.

Flurry Analytics has been tracking daily opt-in and opt-out rates following iOS 14.5’s launch and found that – of a sample of 2.5 million active users – only around four percent in the US are allowing apps access to their Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) tag.

This is the popup that iOS 14.5 users receive when launching apps that wish to use tracking:

Apple says that it uses “Ask App not to Track” rather than “Deny” as the company can block standard IDFA tags but cannot guarantee that developers won’t use other means of tracking.

When including countries outside of the US, Flurry Analytics’ report highlights a slightly increased tracking acceptance rate of 11 percent.

Users who turn off the “Allow Apps to Request to Track” option in iOS 14.5’s privacy settings will automatically restrict IDFA data access and apps will be prevented from asking permission. The global percentage of these users currently sits at around five percent.

Apple provides some privacy-focused replacements to standard tracking methods including SKAdNetwork and Privacy Click Measurement. These systems do not directly identify users and can be integrated without explicit user permission.

Many eyes have now been on Google, as the world’s largest advertiser, to see whether the company will follow suit for Android.

Unsurprisingly, Google hasn’t been quick to follow Apple’s lead. So far, the company has only committed to adding “privacy labels” – showing the data collected by each app – to the Play Store… in 2022.

Meanwhile, the China state-backed Chinese Advertising Association is creating an alternative to IDFA called CAID (Chinese Advertising ID) which attempts to bypass Apple’s privacy feature. Apple says it will reject any app which attempts to circumvent its safeguards.

(Image Credit: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay)

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