Apple Extends Deadline for Developers to Integrate Controversial iOS 14 Privacy Feature

Apple is known for being privacy-centric, and some of the new privacy features on iOS 14 had drawn criticism from Facebook. A group of publishers joined the criticism over fears that ad revenue could drop as much as 50%. Now a new report by The Information claims that Apple has decided to delay the iOS 14 feature. Apple has confirmed the same and released a statement.

Apple is reportedly delaying introducing privacy features that will ask user consent for being tracked across apps and services. Facebook had reacted strongly to the new privacy feature. The company said its mobile advertising tools would be “so ineffective on iOS 14 that it might not make sense to offer it on iOS 14.”

The new ad tracking privacy feature announced at WWDC 2020 has had developers and Apple at loggerheads. Perhaps, the company is going to rethink its approach. Apple has already asked game developers like Activision Blizzard, Supercell, and others on how the upcoming privacy changes will impact their businesses.

The new privacy feature on iOS 14 is likely to affect Apple aswell. For instance, ad-spends on freemium games generate considerable revenue for the App Store. The Information says $76 billion is the total revenue involves in mobile ads. Furthermore, the ads are bread and butter for thousands of freemium games and apps.

Apple has confirmed to TechCrunch that it is indeed delaying the iOS 14 privacy feature. In a statement Apple clarified that it is extending deadline for developers up to “early next year.” Earlier Apple had said that developers need to integrate the prompt into their apps as soon as iOS 14 is released. Now the company has extended the deadline to early next year.

We believe technology should protect users’ fundamental right to privacy, and that means giving users tools to understand which apps and websites may be sharing their data with other companies for advertising or advertising measurement purposes, as well as the tools to revoke permission for this tracking. When enabled, a system prompt will give users the ability to allow or reject that tracking on an app-by-app basis. We want to give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes, and as a result, the requirement to use this tracking permission will go into effect early next year.

Our Take

Publishers are worried that a majority of iOS users will not give consent to being tracked across apps and websites. If the new iOS 14 privacy feature comes into effect, the price advertisers are willing to pay might go down drastically. Typically advertisers pay more for ads that are customized and served to a targeted audience depending on their interests.

[via TheInformation, TechCrunch]