Ad tracking helps companies better understand your behavior, including the ability to buy new items and how to access certain apps or services. Once tracked successfully, marketers will serve personalized and targeted ads to get you noticed about their offerings.
Apple has tried to combat corporate piracy worldwide by introducing a list of privacy-focused features. You can use it to block apps and services from tracking ads – to some extent – on your iPhone.
In recent months, Apple has been very active in limiting iPhone ad tracking. The Cupertino-based company announced Application Tracking Transparency (ATT) last year, a move to promote user privacy and limit businesses tracking your activity.
This feature appeared with the release of iOS 14.5 in late April. The list of apps in the App Store has also been expanded to include “Food Labels” to let users know what data the app has access to during installation. Apple also allows the Safari browser to limit cookie tracking.
Here are detailed steps you can take to limit ad tracking in iPhone apps and services.
How to Limit Ad Tracking on iPhone
Before you get started, please note that using ad tracking will help developers measure your actions and collect details such as your user or device ID, current device ID, name, email address and other information that will make it easier for you to understand.
The built-in Your Identity feature is available in newer versions of iOS (iOS 14.5 and up), but you won’t find it if you have an updated version of iOS on your iPhone. In the next section, you will learn how to limit ad tracking from web-based services.
Go Settings > Privacy > Tracking.
Toggle the ‘Allow Apps to Request to Track’ option. This will help limit ad tracking on all new apps you download on your iPhone.
Now, you can limit tracking to existing apps by scrolling down and closing each app to track you.
In addition to the steps above, you can also tap Tell the app not to track At the prompt to block them from tracking your activities and data.
How to limit ad tracking from Safari on iPhone
You can follow the steps below to limit tracking from the various web-based services and websites you visit using Safari on your iPhone.
- Open Settings > Safari.
- Scroll down a bit and turn off ‘Block All Cookies’.
- Now, turn on ‘Prevent Cross-Site Tracking’ to limit advertisers and other third parties from tracking you from one site to another.
While all of these steps are useful in limiting iPhone ad tracking, advertisers and businesses that need your personal information are finding new ways to track you and keep your account away from their profit goals. You can avoid this by going to the top and turning off background app updates for all installed apps in Settings > Normal and then turning off Background App Updates.
Apple allows you to stop distribution of custom ads in Platform Settings > Privacy > Apple Ads and turn off the Custom Ads option.