Apple delays new privacy feature limiting app tracking capabilities until 2021

Apple won't be enforcing, for now, its new privacy policy that will require apps to request for permission from users before tracking their activities and collecting their data. The tech giant announced today that it is delaying that feature until early next year.

The privacy rule was initially set to go live along with the release of its latest operating system this fall after debuting in June during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple says it is now giving developers more time to prepare for the upcoming change, which is expected to limit the way ads are targeted on iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14.

Advertising titans such as Facebook have criticized the app privacy feature because it will make it more difficult to track user data by preventing apps from collecting that data using Apple’s device identifier, without their consent. Developers will also need to share information on their App Store product pages about how their apps are collecting the users' data. For consumers, the feature allows them to opt out of in-app ad tracking, in which case apps won't be able to collect the identifier for advertisers (IDFA), a critical tool for advertising.

Today's announcement means developers will be required to incorporate that option into their apps starting in early 2021. Apple will announce more details, including an update to the App Store review guidelines, in the fall.

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