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This iPhone setting can prevent ads from following you on the web

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You can prevent apps from following you on the internet so that fewer ads follow you.

Patrick Holland / CNET

We have all had the creepy experience that a shoe buying moment turns into weeks of ads for the same shoes on every website you visit. But there is a function on yours iPhone – which arrived iOS 14.5 and will also appear in future updates – which can improve your online privacy by allowing you to turn off ad tracking in the apps you use. (See the latest features for more information. iOS 15 Publication.)

The iPhone’s app tracking transparency feature gives you more control over which apps you can track and how. Unless you give an app (including the one created by Apple) express permission, it may not use your data for targeted advertising, disclose your location data to advertisers, or disclose your advertising ID or other identifiers to third parties. This change – first presented at Apple’s worldwide developer conference in June 2020 – received support from data protection officers and criticism from companies like Facebookwho said it will harm his advertising business.

The move came along with other efforts by Apple to increase transparency and privacy, which CEO Tim Cook described as a “fundamental human right.” With the release of iOS 14.3 last December, users started using the app “Nutritional labels“to inform them of the data an app requests before downloading it from the App Store.

Here’s how to use the new app tracking transparency feature to control which apps you can track.

How to turn off app tracking for new apps

When you download and open a new app, you will receive a notification asking if you want the app to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites. You will also see information about what the app would track. You can type Ask the app not to track to block this activity or Allow.

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When you download an app, you’ll see a pop-up notification window that lets you choose whether to give the app permission to track you.

Apple

You can also turn off app tracking for each app you download by going to. walk Settings> Privacy> Tracking, and switch off Allow apps to request tracking. This means that any app that tries to ask you for permission will be automatically prevented from asking and will be informed that you have requested not to be tracked. And all apps (except the ones you’ve given permission to track in the past) will be blocked from accessing your device’s information that is used for advertising, according to Apple.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean ads will go away. It just means you’re seeing more general ads, not one for the pair of shoes you clicked on once.

How to turn off app tracking for apps that have already been downloaded

For apps that you have already downloaded and for which you may have set up tracking permissions, you can still enable or disable these permissions on a per-app basis.

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Brett Pearce / CNET

Under settings, tap an app, then tap to turn it off Allow tracking. Or go to Settings> Privacy> Tracking, then tap to enable or disable each app that appears in the list of apps that have requested permission to track your activity.

All app developers must ask permission for tracking. If Apple learns that a developer is tracking users who have asked not to be tracked, they will either need to update their app or they may be rejected by the App Store.

Apple believes privacy features like these are a differentiator for their products. Cook said that because of the company’s business model is not based on selling ads, it can focus on privacy.

For more information, see You should change the privacy settings of the browser immediately, and CNET’s tips for the best VPNs of 2021.

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