With the ios 14.5 update, users will begin to see prompts on their screens when they open apps asking for permission to track their data. That information is often shared or sold to companies that then use it to target ads.
“You always had the option to make these moves if you went to the privacy settings in your phone, but you had to know it was there and go seek it out and opt out,” said Consumer Reports tech editor Thomas Germain. “Now, it’s going to be opt in.”
The shift in policy is a major change and one that’s been a point of contention with Facebook.
“I think people don’t understand the extent they are being tracked,” Germain said.
He believes the crackdown will disrupt Facebook, Google and other companies that specialize in tracking what people do, not just within the apps but across the internet.
“We’re not just talking about your name, address, location,” he said. “We’re talking credit card purchases, the things you browse on the internet. There is personal health information that sometimes gets swooped up into these systems.”
While the software update may help individual privacy, there are concerns it could hurt small businesses in particular who rely on collected data to find and target customers.
If you answer yes or no to an app prompt and then change your mind, you can go into settings and make the change.