Breaking News

Apple's new anti-tracking privacy capability has been praised by the head of a Canadian security awareness firm

Apple's new anti-tracking privacy capability has been praised by the head of a Canadian security awareness firm.

As promised earlier this year, the release of iOS 14.5 for iPhones and iPads on Monday comes with a feature called App Tracking Transparency (ATT), which requires users to ask if they Want to keep track of other apps and websites. Many sites and services say that tracking allows them to serve targeted advertisements. But many privacy critics describe tracking at its most benign as an annoying process, and at its most dangerous, a potential risk to privacy.

But David Shipley, Fredericton, N.B. The head of, - Beauston Security, calls ATT an "unprecedented" idea.

"I think it should be mandated by the government when they abolish our privacy laws," he said in an interview. "It should apply to everything. This is not beneficial for those who are wealthy enough to afford Apple devices and can afford privacy. This is the kind of authority that everyone should have. "

Announced on January 28 as an upcoming capability, ATT is part of an Apple campaign to increase the ability of users to control their data. It was started by iOS 14 Forbes app developers to add a so-called "privacy nutrition label" to their app description to reveal more about if the data collected from their app was used to track a person's activity on other websites and Used for tracking on other apps.

ATT goes one step further, requiring developers to show a screen that allows users to opt out of tracking.

The iPhone screen image gives users the option to opt out of tracking
Apple offers an example of what an ATT screen should look like
According to a Forbes article, ATT could mean the end of an identifier for advertisers (IDFA), which many apps use for tracking.

Many social media firms, particularly Facebook, have been vocal opponents of ATT. So are some small online businesses that say they rely on targeted advertisements to survive.

Shipley allayed his concerns.

He cited an excerpt from American department store magnate John Wannamaker, stating, "50 percent of the advertising we spend is a waste of money." The trouble is that I have no idea which 50 percent.

Shipley pushed against the comments, saying that IDFA effectively targets people with the right advertisements and that removing traditional tracking methods would harm businesses.

"There hasn't been enough research into how effective (challenging) these ads are. Can we determine if they can be targeted to the exact demographics? Sure. Did they make any difference compared to such general advertising? Did those who did not rely on such intimate tracking? Potentially.

"I don't accept on the surface that this (ATT) is guaranteed to hurt businesses. If people want to be targeted, they should be given that opportunity. If they don't, they shouldn't."

ATT can have a positive impact in making businesses less reliant on digital advertising, he said, and bring them back to marketing that can reach audiences in more effective ways.

As evidence, he cited an article about the New York Times' response to the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The publisher blocked all open-exchange advertising on its European pages as well as behavioral targeting. Instead, it focused on contextual and geographic targeting. A company official said that the revenue in the 2019 advertisement has not come down.

Forbes noted that Apple, through its SKAdNetwork, created a privacy-preserving advertising technology to replace IDFA, which tells developers how many times a user has installed an app after seeing an ad for it, and Private click measurement, which shows the effect of advertisements taking users to websites without linking to them.

"Generally speaking, Apple users find it difficult for advertisers to understand what they are interested in", said Daniel Marcuson, digital privacy specialist at NordWPN. "As a result, users will be served with unpublished advertisements, which will increase advertiser spending."

Technology has been moving away from cookies and pixels for some time, ”he said. “These are technologies that enable cross-platform tracking for advertising purposes. Fingerprinting is considered the future of user tracking - not pixels or cookies. Will Apple only take advantage of user privacy for a while? "

Halifax privacy attorney David Fraser of the McInnes Cooper law firm has a more subtle take. "Tracking", as it is often called, is a hyper-simplified way of characterizing a relatively complex concept in which large numbers

No comments