Apple confirms iOS 14 app tracking option disabled in some cases

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What you need to know

  • Apple's iOS 14.5 tracking changes took effect this week.
  • Some people have noticed the option to turn on prompts is disabled.
  • Apple says there are select cases where the function is not available.

Apple has confirmed that some iOS 14 users will not have the option to allow apps to track them in the wake of new changes in iOS 14.5.

Clarification spotted by MacRumors comes from a new Apple support document which reads:

With iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, apps must ask for permission before tracking your activity across other companies' apps and websites. Tracking occurs when information that identifies you or your device collected from an app is linked with information that identifies you or your device collected on apps, websites and other locations owned by third parties for the purposes of targeted advertising or advertising measurement, or when the information collected is shared with data brokers.

Specifically for some users, however, this won't be the case:

In some circumstances, the "Allow Apps to Request to Track" setting is disabled, including:

  • For users with child accounts or under age 18 by birth year, signed in with their Apple ID
  • If your Apple ID is managed by an educational institution or uses a configuration profile that limits tracking
  • If your Apple ID was created in the last 3 days

As the report notes, some users who fall outside of these cases are still seeing the option grayed out. iMore reader Shaun Jenks has noticed on Twitter that signing in and out of iCloud has worked as a fix for some people:

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Whilst all apps on iOS 14 must now ask your permission to track you using an IDFA identifier, users can go into settings and turn off 'Allow apps to request to track', which is essentially a blanket no to the prospect. The aforementioned groups are exempt from this, as the setting is turned off by default and can't be turned back on.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9