With privacy being the main concern for most netizens, iOS has come up with a power move for the users. 

Is There A War? 

In the advertisement showcasing the feature, Apple shows a man buying a coffee, and as he leaves, he is followed as he checks his bank balance and buys cream for an embarrassing itch. Each time he visits a new shop or service, the man is followed by an increasingly larger crowd. 

When the man finally rests, he is shown the ATT feature, “Allow Pal About to track your activity across other apps and websites?” with the option to “Allow” or “Ask App Not to Track.”

The explicit permission seeking nature

The man then opts not to allow tracking, and all the people who’ve been following him throughout the advertisement suddenly disappear as the background music chants, “Why don’t you mind your own business?”

A fascinating take I gathered from the video is the color of the device portrayed in the advertisement. The Facebook blue with a white logo of Apple is what seemed to be a very subtle attack on the company’s data tracking policy. 

The Technical Stuff You Need

Apple’s iOS 14.5 has launched with a privacy feature called “App Tracking Transparency” (ATT) which highlights all the data tracked by various apps and gives you the option to stop it. 

iOS 14.5 revolutionizes privacy like never before

The ATT feature was a little buggy with 14.5. For example, the ‘Allow Apps to Request to Track’ button was greyed out for some iPhone users, which was later fixed by the rollout of the 14.5.1 version of the same. Meanwhile, some app developers have been slow to receive the update and have avoided updating the app to bypass the ATT service.

On a bigger scale, the ATT feature was well received by the users, and it has landed a blow to apps such as Facebook, which base their business models on tracking data to advertise.

Also Read: ResearchED: How Virtual Communication Causes Change In Our Behavior?

Guess What? This Is War

“Apple may say that they’re doing this to help people, but the moves clearly track their competitive interests,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in January during the company’s fourth-quarter meeting. 

Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerburg are having contrasting opinions on the privacy issues

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the change is vested in the company’s belief that “users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used.”

Facebook ran full-page newspaper ads in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post stating that the move will hamper small businesses and consumers.

“If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise,” stated Cook last month, retaliating to Facebook’s privacy policy. 

Facebook’s reaction might be deemed as a bit of an overreaction as they will still be allowed to track data, only after seeking explicit permission from the user though.

But this move by Apple has surely given a dash of entertainment to the drama-hungry and otherwise bored people in the pandemic.

Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: CNET, Forbes, YouTube

Find the Blogger: Shouvonik Bose

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