The Covert Way Apple May Be Tracking You

Evidence has surfaced that suggests Apple has been tracking every move its users make in its app store since iOS 14.6.

By Ryan Clancey | Published

Tech giant Apple is coming under fire again this week, not for any new technology launches but for a new privacy feature consumers are just becoming aware of. Apple has previously called privacy an essential human right and is constantly updating its privacy features to help its customers and users become as private as they would like. One of their main privacy functions is “App Tracking Transparency.”

So when a user downloads an app, they are asked whether the app can track their movements on their phones, most of the time to target advertisements specific to the customer. But while Apple is protecting its customers from unwanted tracking by other apps and companies, it has been tracking its user’s every move on its Apple App Store since iOS 14.6.

Within iOS 14.6, Apple sends every move its customers make on the Apple App Store to its own database, even if you turn off data usage and personalized ads. Developers state that when users browse the Apple App Store, this data is sent to Apple. It contains Apple Ids so that they can match the browsing behavior to the specific account. The information they collect is quite detailed, which is particularly horrifying since no user consented to this level of tracking.

Currently, Apple is getting more controversy as they are looking to expand advertising on their App Store. Since people have now learned that they have been tracking their every move, it’s not surprising that they want to expand their advertising as they have so much data on their customers’ needs and wants.

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Customers have complaints about the appropriateness of some of their advertising with gambling sites being advertised on children’s games. Not liking all the bad publicity, they removed these ads a couple of days later, to their user’s delight.

Apple still needs to explain why they are collecting so much data from its users in the App Store. As it is not related to an iOS update, experts have concluded that it is for the analytics team so that they can run different advertisements on the Apple App Store and on the app itself.

While this is not ok, Apple, which launched its extensive campaign about its customer’s privacy, is collecting its data. It is still different than the App Tracking Transparency. As customers are using Apple products already and Apple are using the information for internal use, they would not be sharing the information with any external parties.

Users and customers of global companies must be careful when using all these products if they want to keep their movements on their phones to themselves. It is a commodity for businesses now to track their users and use it to personalize the advertisements they see on their devices. Thank you, Mark Zuckerburg. Since social media began, companies have been so interested in keeping customers online and using apps or buying products that data from their customer’s daily habits are essential. Being wary of such things and reading the fine print is vital in protecting your own information.