iPhone Apps Forcing Users to Enable App Tracking to Use Third-Party Login Services

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A few weeks after Apple released iOS 14.5 with App Tracking Transparency, a report claimed that over 96% of iPhone users in the US disabled App Tracking, thereby preventing apps from tracking them across apps and services. Now, it looks like many iPhone apps have come up with a way to force users to disable App Tracking for them.

iPhone apps like eBay and Microsoft Outlook are preventing users from signing into them using third-party authentication unless they have app tracking enabled. In eBay’s case, one must enable App Tracking if they want to sign in to the service using Google Sign-In.

On its part, the VP of Privacy product management at Google has clarified that Google Sign-In does not collect any data for tracking or advertising purposes.

Before Apple launched App Tracking Transparency with iOS 14.5, Craig Federighi made it clear that developers must “play by the rules” and adhere to the anti-tracking rules. Otherwise, they risk getting kicked out of the App Store. Apple’s guidelines related to App Tracking Transparency make it clear that developers should not give any incentive to users or force them to enable App Tracking.

It is unclear if Apple’s guidelines related to App Tracking Transparency allow app developers to force users into enabling tracking when they want to use third-party sign-in options.

App Tracking Transparency is expected to have a negative impact on the revenue of iOS app developers and advertisers. The lack of app tracking means advertisers won’t be able to profile users and show them targeted ads leading to fewer conversions. Facebook has been among the most vocal critic of App Tracking Transparency, going as far as publishing full-page ads in the newspaper criticizing Apple and saying it would change the internet for the worse.

You can read our in-depth article to know more about how App Tracking Transparency works to protect your privacy.