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iOS 14.5 Ad Tracking opt-in feature could change mobile advertising

One of Apple's newest features for iOS devices has the potential to cause a seismic shift in mobile advertising.


With the newest major update to Apple’s mobile device operating system scheduled to officially arrive on end-users devices later this year, one of its highlight features has the potential to shake up advertising in the mobile space. The Ad Tracking Transparency features will require users to opt-in to tracking on a per-app basis. It is expected that a majority of iOS users will choose to withdraw their personal data from being shared across apps and other web services.

The extent of the changes to user tracking is outlined by Apple in a User Privacy and Data Use blog provided for app developers. The document explains how developers must present their customer-tracking information as well as best practices for handling said data. Apps will be prohibited from restricting functionality to users who chose to opt out of tracking and data collection.

Serving ads has become a backbone of the mobile software industry ever since Apple revolutionized mobile computing with the release of the first iPhone in 2007. Ad buyers were typically charged more to serve ads that were targeted to specific types of users. Which users should be targeted was determined by the vast amount of data that has been collected by applications and websites over the years. 

As access to this customer data is expected to decrease with the changes in iOS 14.5, industry experts expect massive changes to the current ad monetization approaches in widespread use. 

Apple blog MacRumors commented on what these changes mean going forward:

How this will ultimately affect the viability of certain app types and online advertising is yet to be seen. Like many other initiatives that Apple pushes with their iOS ecosystem, we expect other vendors will eventually follow suit in the coming years.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 9, 2021 1:20 PM

    Chris Jarrard posted a new article, iOS 14.5 Ad Tracking opt-in feature could change mobile advertising

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      April 9, 2021 1:29 PM

      have to be soulless to whimper that informed consent will hurt your industry

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      April 9, 2021 1:56 PM

      I wonder if apps will begin tying agreeing to tracking to availability of certain features.

      “Oh you want level 2? Allow tracking”

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        April 9, 2021 2:09 PM

        deletes app

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        April 9, 2021 2:59 PM

        Pretty sure that's against Apples app store TOS. App should be functional without requiring tracking.

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          April 9, 2021 3:04 PM

          yep. this immediately exposes the underlying bloat and creep that apps "need" to work... because data scraping reasons. FUCK THAT.

          keep your app in its own sandbox, without needing access to the camera, contacts, GPS....

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