How developers plan to bypass the anti-tracking feature

For the family: Apple activates shared subscriptions

Apple’s new anti-tracking feature has been in operation in iOS since 2021: Apple has not been put off by criticism from the advertising industry and the app economy and has activated the new function as announced. However, the first developers are apparently already working to circumvent the feature.

Apple’s new anti-tracking feature went into operation at the beginning of the new year, as announced by Apple. Now apps that want to record the behavior of the user across app boundaries must obtain permission from the user for this.
For this purpose, a corresponding dialog query must be made, which must contain a clearly formulated explanation. However, developers are already working to circumvent this query.

This is to be achieved by so-called fingerprinting: A combination of different data serves as a kind of fingerprint with which users can still be identified. These factors include data such as software versions, serial numbers of devices, as well as Mac addresses of WLAN or Bluetooth modules and other parameters.

Developers consciously risk being kicked out of the App Store

This procedure is not permitted: If Apple encounters fingerprinting on apps, it is likely to be expelled from the App Store. Media reports quote however, insiders from the industry, according to which many developers consciously accept this risk. Cross-app tracking is far too important to business to give up, especially since it is to be expected that a majority of users – once asked – will refuse permission. In addition, if done well, fingerprinting is difficult to detect.

How successful Apple is in preventing these practices remains to be seen.

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