Study claims Apple’s anti-tracking feature is useless

One of the features that Apple introduced earlier this year as part of the iOS 14 update is app tracking transparency. Basically, it’s a feature meant to give users a choice of whether or not they want an app to track them. Obviously, when you put it that way, most users will choose to opt out.

This was something companies like Facebook had a big problem with. However, it turns out that maybe these companies don’t need to worry so much after all. In a study by Lockdown Privacy initially picked up by The Washington Post, it appears to suggest that iOS’s built-in anti-tracking feature is a bit of a flop.

According to the study, over the course of five months, researchers studied the top 10 apps on the App Store to see if the feature actually stops tracking as it claims.

“Using the open source Lockdown Privacy app and manual testing, we found that App Tracking Transparency made no difference to the total number of active third-party trackers, and had little impact on the total number of third-party tracking connection attempts. We also confirmed that personal data or detailed device data was sent. to trackers in almost all cases.ATT has been functionally useless in stopping third-party tracking, even when users explicitly choose “Ask the app does not track”.

The study goes on to suggest that the feature could actually be dangerous because it could lull users into a false sense of security because they believe their privacy is protected. They claim that the feature’s flaw is that it relies on an “honor system” and that it’s up to the developers to be honest. However, if developers see that other developers are lying, they will have no incentive to be nearby either.

Apple has since responded to the study as spokesperson Fred Sainz said, “Apple believes that tracking should be transparent to users and under their control. If we discover that a developer is not respecting a user’s choice, we will work with the developer to address the issue, or it will be removed from the App Store.”

failed to apple > general. Read more about iOS and privacy. Source: imore

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