Tim Cook Says Apple is ‘Not Against Digital Advertising’ Ahead of iOS 14.5 Launch With App Tracking Transparency

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Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Apple will be requiring apps to receive a user’s permission to track their activity for targeted advertising purposes, as part of a privacy measure known as App Tracking Transparency.

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Ahead of App Tracking Transparency being enforced, Apple CEO Tim Cook has participated in a privacy-focused interview with the Toronto Star, telling the Canadian newspaper that Apple is “not against digital advertising” and simply believes that users should have transparency and control as it relates to being tracked by apps for advertising purposes.

We’re not against digital advertising. I think digital advertising is going to thrive in any situation, because more and more time is spent online, less and less is spent on linear TV. And digital advertising will do well in any situation. The question is, do we allow the building of this detailed profile to exist without your consent?

When asked about some major companies like Procter & Gamble that have reportedly been trying to find ways to get around App Tracking Transparency, Cook said any pushback on the change is likely because companies will no longer be able to track users without them knowing, resulting in less data being collected to build a profile on users.

The only reason why you would push back is if you believe you’ll get less data. The only reason you would get less data is because people are consciously deciding not to do it and were not being asked before.

Cook reiterated Apple’s longstanding belief that privacy is a “fundamental human right” and expressed his belief that privacy regulations around the world “will eventually catch up” with policies like App Tracking Transparency.

Cook said that App Tracking Transparency will launch “in a few weeks,” but it’s unclear when the interview was held. iOS 14.5 is believed to be nearing release following over two months of beta testing with many new features, including the much-awaited ability for Apple Watch users to unlock their iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask.

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