Apples iOS 14 Update & Your Privacy

How Does Apple's iOS 14 Update Impact Your Data Privacy Online?

Apples iOS 14 update is designed to boost user security and privacy. In this guide, well take a closer look at what the update means for Apple customers and their online privacy.

A brief introduction to the Apple iOS 14 update

Apple recently released an iOS 14 update, which boasts enhanced privacy controls to allow Apple customers to benefit from superior security. As part of a raft of new measures, users are able to limit the amount of data provided to third parties and take control of how their personal information is collected and used.

iOS 14: What has changed?

If you are an Apple user, you are probably wondering what has changed and how the new security measures will impact you. The iOS 14 and 14.5 updates are among the most ground-breaking in terms of Apple data and privacy, and they have consequences for Apple customers and businesses and third parties that collect data for targeted advertising.

Key changes include:

  • Safari data reports highlighting which sites and apps are tracking you and what kinds of data they are collecting and which sites have been blocked.
  • Information labeling on apps available to download from the App Store: these informative labels provide advice about how the app collects data and what information will be collected.
  • Password monitoring: users will be notified if their password has been compromised via a security breach.
  • Approximate location option: users will be able to set an approximate rather than a specific location.
  • Hiding WiFi addresses.
  • Notifications when apps are using or accessing cameras, microphones or the clipboard.

Opting in to data tracking

The most significant change for Apple customers is the iOS 14.5 update, which asks users to opt-in to data tracking. If you have an iPhone or an Apple device, you may have noticed that a pop-up box appears when you open an app. There are two options: Allow and Ask App Not to Track. If you select the Ask the App Not to Track option, the app will not be able to track your activity on other apps that are installed on your iPhone or tablet. This means that if youre using the Facebook app, for example, it will not be able to follow you and collect data when youre using other sites on your phone. This means that your personal data cannot be passed to third parties for advertising purposes.

App Tracking Transparency

Apples new security updates have improved transparency and enabled users to take control of data tracking. App Tracking Transparency (ATT) is related to the IFDA (identifier for advertisers). This is a random sequence of numbers, which is attached to each device. In the past, advertisers used the IFDA to gather information about users for targeted advertising purposes, collecting data related to app activity and purchases. Today, it is much more difficult for advertisers to track activity because Apple customers have to actively opt-in to app tracking, rather than having to opt-out.

As part of the iOS 14 and 14.5 updates, users can choose to reject tracking, simply by tapping on the Ask App Not to Track button rather than the Allow button. If you turn off tracking across all apps, advertisers will only be able to see a series of zeros and your data will not be shared from your iPhone or iPad.

What are the advantages of Apples new update?

Enhanced control for Apple users

Apple claims that its new security updates allow users to enjoy greater control of their privacy settings and data. Previously, it was much more difficult to block adverts or prevent data from being shared with third parties. The new update has shifted the focus towards user control, actively promoting choice when it comes to activity tracking. Users have a simple question to answer, and they can decide to allow or refuse app tracking by touching a button. When you use or download an app, a box will appear asking you to make your decision.

Additional information

Apples updates also provide additional information and clarity about how your data will be collected and used by different apps. The new nutrition-style labeling system, which covers all apps, including those produced and developed by Apple, allows users to see what kind of data will be collected before they choose whether or not to download it.

Freedom of choice

With Apples opt-in tracking feature, users have the freedom to choose which apps they allow to track activity. Users may want some apps to track activity, for example, streaming services, so that they can benefit from perks like recommendations and suggestions for the next box set binge. You can decide which apps to allow tracking.

Encouraging wider change

Apples new updates spell good news for customers keen to reap the rewards of enhanced online security and privacy, but there is a belief that the changes will also benefit a much larger pool of web and app users. Where Apple leads, others are likely to follow.

Objections to new data privacy measures

While Apples new security features have been welcomed by customers and groups campaigning for better online privacy controls, the move has been criticized by some companies, notably those that make a lot of money from targeted advertising. Facebook was the loudest voice in the room when the update was announced. Changes to app tracking and enhanced transparency and opt-in features make it much more difficult for third parties to target customers and for companies like Facebook to make money from sharing data with advertisers.


Apple recently introduced new iOS 14 and 14.5 updates, which enhance security and user privacy. Apple customers can now benefit from a raft of measures that are designed to improve transparency and give users the freedom and choice to take control of their privacy settings and the way they share data. The most significant change in terms of Apple data and privacy is the opt-in tracking function, which prompts users to choose between allowing tracking and asking the app not to track your activity across other apps and websites.

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