Apple reminds developers again to follow new app tracking rules

Facebook Ios 14 Tracking Prompt
Facebook Ios 14 Tracking Prompt (Image credit: MacRumors)

What you need to know

  • Apple has reminded developers once again to update their apps to follow the new tracking rules.
  • AppTrackingTransparency will launch with iOS 14.5.

Apple is once again reminding developers to get their apps ready for the new privacy protections that will go live when iOS 14.5 releases to the public.

In a news update on the Apple Developer website, Apple is reminding developers to make sure their apps are ready for ioS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5. All apps that run on a device running the new update must use the new AppTrackingTransparency framework that requires an app to ask for permission before tracking them for advertising purposes. If the user does not give permission, Apple will hide their advertising identifier to the app to disable tracking.

When submitting your app for review, any other form of tracking — for example, by name or email address — must be declared in the product page's App Store Privacy Information section and be performed only if permission is granted through AppTrackingTransparency. You'll also need to include a purpose string in the system prompt to explain why you'd like to track the user, per App Store Review Guideline 5.1.2(i). These requirements apply to all apps starting with the public release of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5.

Apple also reminded developers that "fingerprinting" users through tracking continues to be a violation of the App Store rules even if a user permits the ad tracking.

As a reminder, collecting device and usage data with the intent of deriving a unique representation of a user, or fingerprinting, continues to be a violation of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement.

Developers can learn more about the upcoming changes on the User Privacy and Data Use page.

If your app isn't updated to follow the new requirements yet, you better do it soon. iOS 14.5 should be released to the public any day now and Apple is already rejecting apps that attempt to use third-party tracking software.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.