Apple will force apps to ask for permission to track users’ data

Users will also be able to see which apps are trying to track their information

Apple is set to roll out new privacy measures that will force apps on its platform to ask for permission to track users' data across apps or websites owned by other companies.

Users will also be able to see what apps have requested permission to track, and make changes.

The move is designed to increase transparency in how data is being used by companies and give users more control over their personal information. The new privacy feature was first announced last year as part of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, and will be rolled out to users as part of an operating system update in the spring for its iOS, iPadOS and tvOS platforms.

The announcement was made to coincide with International Data Privacy Day on January 28th. As part of its focus on data privacy, Apple also released a report to help consumers understand what is happening with their data behind the scenes and how third-party companies track their information across apps and websites, called A Day in the Life of Your Data.


Chief executive Tim Cook is set to speak on data privacy at the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference in Brussels later on Thursday.

According to Apple, apps include on average six trackers from companies that collecting and tracking users, part of a $227 billion (€187 billion) a year industry.

Number of measures

The tech giant has introduced a number of measures recently designed to focus on user privacy, including privacy “nutrition labels” for apps that show what data the app tracks and how it uses the information in an easy to read format. It has won praise from privacy organisations such as Privacy International, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the Center for Democracy and Technology.

"Privacy means peace of mind, it means security, and it means you are in the driver's seat when it comes to your own data," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "Our goal is to create technology that keeps people's information safe and protected. We believe privacy is a fundamental human right, and our teams work every day to embed it in everything we make."

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist