Privacy is one of the hot topics in this digital world. With more and more users concerning about keeping their data private, it becomes essential for companies like Apple to provide necessary options in iPhone. Apple offers App Privacy Report to users for monitoring app usage and change the permissions if required. However, you can also stop app tracking at first by not giving the necessary permissions. In this article, we will explain how to prevent apps from tracking your activities in iPhone.
What is App Tracking?
There are thousands of apps available in iPhone App Store with “Free” tag. However, they are not free in reality and all those free apps will collect your information across apps for showing personalized advertisements. In addition, some apps may also sell the collected data to third-party marketing agencies. For example, if you search for “web hosting services” in Safari app, you will be seeing advertisements related to web hosting in your gaming app. This is possible since your gaming app tracks your activities across all other installed apps on your iPhone.
Prevent Apps Tracking with Initial Request
Apple made it mandatory for all app developers to get user’s consent before they track the activities across other apps. Whenever you install an app and open it for the first time, you will see a pop-up asking you to confirm the tracking. The pop-up will say “Allow app_name to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?”. You can stop tracking by choosing the “Allow App Not to Track” option or allow the app to track you by selecting “Allow”.
Change App Tracking for Old Apps
Sometimes you or your kid might have wrongly allowed the tracking access for an app. In this case, you can view the apps currently tracking you in iPhone and revert the permission.
- Go to “Settings” app and then navigate to “Privacy & Security” section.
- On top of the privacy settings page, you will see a “Tracking” option (just below the “Location Services”).
- Tap on it to view all the apps currently having access to track across other apps in your phone.
- Simply turn the slider off to disable tracking for any particular app.
Some apps like Google Chrome will not be shown in the list. In this case, go to the app’s settings page to disable the tracking. For Chrome, go to “Settings > Chrome” and then disable “Allow Cross-Website Tracking” option.
Completely Disable App Tracking in iPhone
The “Tracking” settings page also has another option on the top saying, “Allow Apps to Request to Track”. This is by default enabled in iPhone which is the reason you will see the tracking permission pop-up when opening the app for first time. However, denying the access every time is also an additional task and sometimes you may also wrongly press “Allow” option. To avoid any confusion, disable “Allow Apps to Request to Track” option. This will permanently deny the tracking permission for all the apps and you will not see any pop-up when opening the app.
Disable Apple Advertisement Tracking
Apple also serve personalized advertisements by showing relevant apps and information in App Store, Apple News and Stocks apps. Apple claims they will not track across apps for showing this information. However, their policy page says, Apple uses contextual information like device language, location, the content you read on Stocks, etc. In our opinion, this is also tracking and you should disable it.
- Go to “Settings > Privacy & Security” section.
- Scroll down to the bottom and tap on “Apple Advertising” option.
- On the next page, disable “Personalized Ads” to disable Apple tracking.
You can tap on “View Ad Targeting Information” link and read more about what information are collected by Apple for delivering personalized ads.