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Apple anti-tracking privacy feature starting to show up in iOS 14.4 beta

Credit: AppleInsider

Last updated

Apple's anti-tracking privacy feature is starting to show up for users running the first beta version of the company's upcoming iOS 14.4 update.

The privacy feature makes a specific type of user tracking meant for advertisers opt-in by default. That means apps will need to explicitly ask users for permission to track them across other sites and apps.

According to users on the MacRumors forum, the permission popup box has started to appear in iOS 14.4 beta 1, which was seeded to registered developers on Dec. 16.

One user posted a screenshot of the NBA app asking to track their activity in the beta. The prompt also displays the customizable text that developers will be able to change. In the NBA app's case, it says that user data "will be used to provide [them] with a better and personalized ad experience."

Although initially planned to launch with iOS 14, Apple delayed the feature to give developers and advertisers more time to prepare. Currently, it's slated to debut in early 2021.

Based on the current beta testing timeline, it's likely that iOS 14.4 and the privacy feature could debut in January or February.

Some businesses reliant on advertising revenue have come out against the privacy feature. Most notably, Facebook earlier in December ran full-page ads calling the default opt-out option a threat to small and medium businesses.

Other groups, like Mozilla and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have voiced their support for the feature.