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Use this iPhone setting to prevent ads from following you on the web


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 brief moment of buying shoes online turns into weeks of ads for the same shoes on every website you visit. But there is a function on yours iPhone, starting with the iOS 14.5 Update that can help you improve your online privacy by giving you the option to turn off ad tracking in the apps you use. (See the latest features for more information. iOS 15 Release.)

Apple’s app tracking transparency feature gives you more control over which apps you can track on your iPhone and how. Unless you specifically give an app permission (including those created by Apple) to track you, it cannot use your information for targeted advertising, share your location information with advertisers, or share your advertising ID or other identifiers with 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, users started seeing apps.Nutrition labels“Let you know about the categories of data an app will request before it is downloaded 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.


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.


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 automatically be prevented from asking and will be informed that you have requested not to be tracked. And all apps (except those 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.

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.


Brett Pearce / CNET

Under ideas, tap an app, then tap to turn it off Allow tracking. Or go to Settings> Privacy> Tracking, then tap to toggle on or off 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 tracking practices or they may be rejected by the App Store.

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

That said, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re only prohibiting app developers from accessing the Advertiser Identifier (IDFA) on your iPhone when asking apps not to track you. Developers use your device’s IDFA to track you for targeted advertising purposes. Denying access to your iPhone’s IDFA doesn’t necessarily mean app developers aren’t tracking you in other ways. Hence, it is important to pay attention to the apps you use and how you interact with them.

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


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