The new feature was scheduled to debut this year but was delayed to give developers more time to make changes to their apps and address privacy issues.
Apple threatened to remove apps from its App Store if they don’t comply with an upcoming private feature that will allow users to block advertisers from tracking them across different apps.
The new feature, called App Tracking Transparency, was scheduled to debut this year but was delayed to give developers more time to make changes to their apps and address privacy issues.
Some tech companies and advertisers, such as Facebook, have criticized the planned change, saying it could disproportionately affect smaller developers, such as video game companies.
Nonetheless, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said users should know when they are being tracked across different apps and websites.
“At the beginning of next year we will begin to require that all apps that want to do that obtain the explicit permission of their users, and developers who do not comply with that standard will be able to see how their applications are removed from the App Store,” he said at the Conference European Data Protection and Privacy.
The new feature will require a pop-up notification that the app “wants permission to track it on apps and websites owned by other companies.” Digital advertising companies expect the majority of users to refuse to grant such permission.
“When invasive tracking is your business model, you often thank us for transparency and customer choice,” said Federighi, dismissing criticism of the new feature.
“We need the world to see those arguments for what they are: a blatant attempt to maintain the invasive privacy status quo.”