Every time I clear out my browser cookies, I am always amazed at the number of times I have to accept cookies, block ads, whitelist pages, and many small yet tedious agreements that form a part of our browsing experience. Watching Apple’s latest ad has made these extra clicks I do daily add up in my mind, and these invisible followers suddenly come to life as real-life stalkers.
That jarring visual aside, Apple has hit the nail on the head by bringing those hypothetical stalkers and the vague privacy concerns we keep hearing about to life. Featured in iOS 14.5, the App Tracking Transparency is a simple concept to understand on paper. With a click, you can “Ask App Not To Track” – an option about 96% of the users across the US opting for (according to a study by arstechnica). This change has been met with great resistance across the app creators, especially by Facebook – everyone remembers the full-page newspaper ads. But the users’ preference to opt-out of tracking tells a story from the real underdogs – the millions of genuine users who agree to whatever the companies want just to access their app and ignore the fine print. There is finally a clear way to say a no, and 96% of the users using it is a testament to the fact that people will say no to being tracked when given an option.
Going back to the ad – the movie has balanced the act of discomfort and laughter, but it’s the end that takes the cake. Apple’s take on privacy has even Google digging deep as this unexpected change and its support from the users has made a stronger USP for selling than maybe the creators even imagined. After this, I am itching to get rid of all these imaginary stalkers of mine. iOs 14.5, here I come!