Apple slowly rolling out fix for 'grayed out' App Tracking Transparency option

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Apple appears to be rolling out a fix for a bug that in some cases would prohibit users from enabling App Tracking Transparency functionality, a problem that was supposedly remedied with the release of iOS 14.5.1 earlier in May.

A growing number of users are reporting that the "Allow Apps to Request to Track" option in system settings is now available and can be switched on or off. When activated, users can decide to allow or deny an app's access to their identification for advertisers (IDFA) tag.

Shortly after iOS 14.5 was released in April, some users noted the "Allow Apps to Request to Track" function was unavailable. Instead of seeing a working radio button, the option was deactivated and the menu selection was grayed out.

Apple said it patched the issue in an iOS update on May 3, but difficulties persisted.

"Allow Apps to Request to Track" is not a new feature for iOS, but it does play a slightly different role in Apple's user privacy suite when combined with App Tracking Transparency features. With the launch of iOS 14.5, deactivating the function disallows apps from tapping into a user's IDFA, effectively enforcing a blanket ban on all tracking requests.

By activating "Allow Apps to Request to Track," users can permit tracking on a per-app basis. When opening an app for the first time — with "Allow Apps to Request to Track" enabled — users are met with a pop-up notification asking for permission to track across other apps and websites. The notices are required under App Tracking Transparency guidelines.

It is unclear what caused the issue and Apple declined to clarify the matter in release notes accompanying iOS 14.5.1.