Google avoids iOS privacy pop-up by stopping personalized ads in some apps

Apple iPhone Privacy Ad
Apple iPhone Privacy Ad (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Google is changing the way it serves ads on certain apps.
  • It is making the change to avoid new privacy protections in iOS 14.

As reported by Reuters, Google will stop using an Apple tool that allows the company to personalize ads in apps like YouTube and Maps in order to avoid a pop-up that warns users that their browsing is being tracked.

The company announced the change in a blog post aimed at preparing advertising partners to comply with Apple's new privacy protections. Apple has so far delayed enforcing some of its new rules, but it appears that may change soon.

The company will begin to require developers to gain consent on accessing a user's IDFA, a unique identifier that helps advertisers personalize ads to users across platforms.

Apple for years has supplied apps with a unique identifier, known as IDFA, to help them link the same user across multiple programs. The code can be essential in determining to whom to show an ad and tracking whether it prompted them to make a purchase. But Apple has said that early this year it will require that apps show users a one-time pop-up message to gain their consent to access their IDFA.

Google will stop using data from "so-called third parties to personalize ads" in order to comply with the new requirement.

Apple said apps not using IDFA still are required to seek user permission if they show and measure ads based on data acquired from other companies. To comply, Google said its iPhone apps will stop using data from so-called third parties to personalize ads.

For users who enjoy when their ads more closely reflect their interests, they will still want to grant access to Google and other developers to their IDFA. For those who value privacy over personalization, however, developers can expect to see may rejections when asking for this information.

Facebook has also been critical of the privacy protections introduced in iOS 14, saying that it is harmful to small businesses.

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.