Apple fixes App Tracking Transparency bug with iOS 14.5.1 update
Last week, Apple finally released its much-awaited iOS 14.5 update, turning on a powerful anti-tracking setting that forces developers to ask users for consent before tracking them across apps. This ‘App Tracking Transparency’ feature was supposed to be available to all iOS 14.5 users at launch -- but was affected by an odd bug, that Apple has now fixed in the iOS 14.5.1 update that was released today.
On April 27, we reported that shortly after upgrading to iOS 14.5, users were complaining that they were unable to turn on the App Tracking Transparency feature from the Settings app. These users saw the “Allow Apps to Request to Track” toggle disabled on their iPhones after updating to iOS 14.5 last week. Now, the latest version of iOS 14.5.1 which has been released in less than a week since iOS 14.5 came out, has apparently fixed this issue.
Just got my first ATT request prompt from an app (ESPN) since updating to iOS 14.5 a week ago. The prompt popped up shortly after I updated to iOS 14.5.1 today. I had a different app open at the time the ESPN app prompt appeared. pic.twitter.com/HMWSdnbmeP— waffles waffles waffles 🧇 (@4H48s) May 3, 2021
“This update fixes an issue with App Tracking Transparency where some users who previously disabled Allow Apps to Request to Track in Settings may not receive prompts from apps after re-enabling it,” the company notes on its changelog for the update, while also recommending that all users download and install it, as it also included important security updates.
Users who were affected by this bug reported that apps on those devices were unable to request users consent before tracking their data for third parties. While this does sound like a good idea in terms of privacy, it could also prevent other apps that require some user data in order to function from working properly. Even after updating to iOS 14.5.1, users who do not want to configure permissions for each app can simply turn off the feature instead.