Apple's iOS 14.5 ‘App Tracking Transparency’ appears disabled for some users
With the arrival of Apple’s much-anticipated iOS 14.5 update on Monday, the company’s new App Tracking Transparency feature that makes it mandatory for apps to ask for user consent before tracking them has finally gone live. However, just like any other newly released software, some users are reporting bugs in the software that prevents them from turning the feature on.
As of today, every iPhone user who has updated to iOS 14.5 will be able to allow applications to collect their data and share it with third parties, or ask those apps not to share their data with third parties — as part of the new App Tracking Transparency feature. Some users, however, are unable to enable the toggle that allows apps to display this prompt, sharing screenshots of their privacy settings on Twitter.
Interestingly the iOS 14.5 tracking setting is completely disabled for me. I wonder if there’s a migration happening or something. pic.twitter.com/77rjO9k5cG— Bruno Philipe (@BrunoPhilipe) April 27, 2021
iOS 14.5 on both my iPhone and iPad has this master tracking switch disabled, with no way to turn it on. The individual app switches also disabled. I’m fine with this setting, but really curious why would it be in this disabled state. pic.twitter.com/RlkwWXumhe— Jaanus Kase (@jaanus) April 27, 2021
As the "Allow Apps to Request to Track" section is grayed out in the Privacy section on the Settings app, it appears that apps on these users devices will not be able to ask users for permission to track them. While Apple is yet to respond, 9to5Mac suggests that the feature might be disabled on devices with MDM profiles (managed devices) as well as users under the age of 18. It also suggests that users who updated to iOS 14.5 with the ‘Personalised Ads’ feature disabled could have the feature grayed out.
While it is still unclear why the setting is disabled for some users, it is interesting to note that users should still be protected from third-party tracking — under Apple’s new guidelines, apps can only gather users personal information after asking for user consent. This suggests that even if the feature is temporarily disabled, your personal information should still be safe from advertisers and third-party trackers.